By Cara Miller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
A review committee chaired by the provost has suggested cutting or downsizing 18 programs and departments in the latest campus-wide money saving plan.
The University of Arizona Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee report, released Friday, was the result of a seven-month review process that began in early September.
Programs recommended for elimination include: the Statistics department, the French doctoral program, the Italian undergraduate major, Library Sciences undergraduate courses and doctoral program, the Nuclear and Energy Engineering department, the Physical Education program, and the Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies graduate program.
Also suggested for elimination are the Finance graduate program, Judaic Studies and Russian and Soviet Studies if they do not receive increased funding. If the Planning program does not receive accreditation, it is also recommended for elimination. The report recommends downsizing the English graduate program, the media arts undergraduate program, and the history and political science doctoral programs.
Provost Paul Sypherd said the criteria for evaluation of these programs was based on efficiency, quality and centrality to the university's mission as a research land grant institution.
None of the decisions are final, Sypherd said. Department heads will have the opportunity to address their concerns to the committee before the final recommendations are presented to Sypherd.
Sypherd said if the recommendations are approved, the process will be a gradual phase-out that will allow students already enrolled in the programs to graduate.
Once Sypherd reviews the recommendations, they will be presented to the Faculty Senate, President Manuel T. Pacheco and finally the Arizona Board of Regents.
Library Sciences Director C.D. Hurt said he believes that the recommendation that his department be cut will be changed.
"I have spoken with Sypherd and it is my understanding that the committee will consider our presentation, take another look at the data and come up with a modified recommendation," Hurt said.
The report states that it is an extension of last spring's review from the Program for the Assessment of Institutional Priorities, which also evaluated university programs according to their centrality to the university's mission.
However, the PAIP report concluded that a majority of the programs now slated for restructuring met or exceeded the criteria.
"Centrality played a bigger role in this report," Sypherd said. "I think PAIP struggled with the idea but never fully developed it."
"When PAIP was planned, it was supposed to look at efficiencies and centrality," said Michael Cusanovich, UA research vice president and a com mittee member. "It ended up not weighing centrality very much."
The latest evaluation echoed some recommendations outlined earlier this month by a different committee dealing only with the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The university-wide report upheld suggestions made by the SBS committee that the Journalism department be eliminated, as well as the Latin American Studies undergraduate program and the Communication graduate program.
"If we had a lot of money we would do things differently," Cusanovich said.
"I think it's a very wrong thing to do," said Yashaswini Mittal, Statistics department head. "The major arguments showed a lack of any sight for the future."
Finance department head Edward Dyl said he is not concerned by the recommendations.
"We have strengthened the department considerably over the past year. We have downsized considerably and strengthened the program," Dyl said.
Other programs have been slated for consolidation based on what the committee called "intellectual overlap." The Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology departments have been targeted for consolidation. The Plant Pathology and Entomology departments also present a possibility for consolidation. Read Next Article