Before the students, particularly the graduate students, of this august university allow themselves to be blindsided and alienated by the recent budget cuts, I feel it is my duty to speak out on an issue where few voices are heard. Specifically, the University of Arizona must learn to eliminate superfluous programs, reorganize current offices to become economically streamlined and to stop the wasteful spending that continually plagues us. What is needed by the administration is a re-evaluation of the mission here at the University of Arizona.

Since I have been a student here, I have had the privilege of seeing the continual downfall of the administration's budget. Too often nepotism runs rampant (need I remind the students of [former UA President] Henry Koffler's exorbitant salary and position doing exactly what I'm not too sure about) and non-academic programs continue to be created while undergraduate and now graduate courses whither away. Would it be too much to ask for an annual budget that spent money on actual academic programs?

I would have no objections to the budgetary reductions if I could just understand some logical rationality behind these current decisions. For example, throughout the grounds of the university, numerous pieces of art have been placed to beautify the campus. That is, if beautify is even the proper word to use in this instance. The cost of these pieces has been well above reason. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly believe in the promotion of the arts. What I find difficult to understand is how the administration can fund such projects while it plans to virtually eliminate academic departments.

Research has continued to be the focal point of this university _ astronomical research, chemical research, biological research, medical research and optical science research. At first glance, one might think these were the only programs here, or at least the only programs of value. No longer can our administration fail to recognize that there are students who have different academic pursuits than those listed above. Probably unbeknownst to the administration, the Near Eastern Studies department is one of the best in the world. Is the research that it conducts useless to our endless quest for knowledge? The administration would have us believe so.

A plea must go out. And while I have heard numerous murmuring and discontent from my fellow students, few have sent letters to the provost, the president of the university or the numerous department heads whose programs are affected. If students really want to ensure that their future careers and dreams are fulfilled, they will have to make a concerted effort to defend these programs from the mighty scissors atop the Administration building.

Jim Sindle

Political Science/Near Eastern Studies Senior Read Next Article