Florida: University will cut funds for English, German and Slavic programs

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue Sep 5 13:26:22 UTC 2006

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

U. of Florida Plans to Reduce Size of Several Departments

In an effort to reduce growing debts, the University of Florida intends to
reduce the size of the faculty in five departments -- including English,
philosophy, and religion -- and cut funds for graduate teaching assistants
in those areas, according to a new five-year plan. Florida expects about
80 of 780 faculty members in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to
retire in the next three years, and the university plans to replace
approximately 26 of them. Neil S. Sullivan, dean of the college and a
professor of physics at Florida, said the move would help the college
overcome a projected $4.1-million deficit this year. The college has an
annual budget of approximately $98-million. Mr. Sullivan said state
support for the college had not kept pace with an overall growth in its
enrollment. "There are many programs here that are strong and vibrant, and
they will continue to go forward with strength,"  Mr. Sullivan said. "But
within the college, there are programs where the amount of growth is not
as much as it was a few years ago, and we have to realign and readjust."

According to Florida's five-year plan for the college, the university will
cut the English department's budget for graduate students and adjunct
faculty members by $120,000, or 16 percent, by the 2010-11 academic year.
The plan would reduce the number of full-time faculty members to 51 from
60 and shrink the number of graduate teaching assistants to 54 from 59.
The number of faculty members in the department of Germanic and Slavic
studies would drop to 14 from 20, and funds for graduate students and
adjuncts would shrink to zero from $104,500 this year, according to the
plan. The mathematics department would lose about six full-time faculty
members and 10 graduate teaching assistants. Under the plan, six
departments -- biology, botany, chemistry, criminology, psychology, and
zoology -- would receive increased funds for graduate teaching assistants
and see a rise in full-time faculty members.

Mr. Sullivan told the college's faculty members about the plan at a
meeting on Friday. "The immediate reaction from faculty was one of anger
and surprise," said Robert B. Ray, an English professor. "Where the blame
lies is difficult to assess at this point." Mr. Ray said the news had
prompted some professors to consider seeking jobs at other institutions.
"This is potentially a reprise of Larry Summers and the humanities
department," he said, referring to the former president of Harvard
University, whose emphasis of so-called hard sciences over liberal-arts
disciplines had angered many faculty members at that institution.


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal.


More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list