The other day, I started thinking about the suggested program cuts, as well as the recommendations from Pacheco and Sypherd that the university determine which of its programs were the most important because the school could not support everything. Lack of funds, you know. Of course, they'll probably find the $100 million for that research park, but that's a different matter.

Sypherd has said that the UA has many more degree programs than other schools, so the university could afford to downsize a little bit. Silly me: who needs landscape architects, anyway? Or journalists? Maybe if there is no more Journalism department, there won't be any more of the Wildcat newspaper, and the administration can go on with business as usual. Obfuscation! Get yer red-hot obfuscation!

So I got to thinking about possible ways for the university to save money, short of eliminating programs.

First, I recommend that the members of the higher administration have their reserved parking spaces taken away at once. Let them fight for parking permits just like everyone else, and then maybe they'll know what it's like to have to hike across campus to an overcrowded, stiflingly hot classroom to learn things that will be soon forgotten after the endless multiple-choice tests (which are also helpful to test the IQ of sea lions, by the way) are out of the way. Perhaps then they will be able to make decisions that reflect students' needs and situations. All of that air conditioning in the Administration Building can make one a bit dizzy at times, I suppose. Excuse me, Mr. Sypherd, I think your power tie is on a bit tight, there.

Second, I recommend that one faculty member from each of the departments suggested for elimination be rounded up and thrown into a large pit to fight his or her way out. The first five people that emerge can have their department spared, while the rest will just have to be "redeployed" (read, "become errand boys"). In this time of trying to make artificial distinctions about which programs are better than others, this seems like just as good a method as any.

Third, I recommend that all incoming freshmen be issued a pair of scissors, to cut through all the red tape, and a bullshit detector, so they can tell when the truth is couched in words like "centrality" and "total quality management" and "downsizing." Speak English, please. I can't translate Bureaucrat.

Fourth, I recommend that if the program eliminations are allowed to go through, using the rationale that only the central may survive, then the students be allowed the same luxury. Let them decide as a group which administrators are most central to the university's mission, and eliminate them accordingly. What's fair is fair, right? "Vice president for academic outreach? What the hell is 'academic outreach'? Sorry, not central," we'd say, and a chute would open and whisk the poor guy away.

It will probably be said by the suit-and-tie crowd that I don't understand, that research makes money for the state and for the university, and isn't that neat?

Well, all I can think about is the faculty members in the affected departments. I have a recurring image of them scrambling for lower-paying jobs in a shrinking economy, uprooting spouses who just got settled in the new house and soothing crying children who don't want to leave their new friends at school. Just think for a second about the people's lives you would be affecting. Can you live with that?

Adam Hartmann, besides being the Summer Wildcat editor in chief, also likes to make small children cry. He is a journalism graduate student, feverishly looking for another major. His column will appear every Tuesday. Read Next Article