Berkeley to Halve Its Offerings in East Asian Languages

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri May 9 14:55:36 UTC 2008

May 8, 2008
Budget Crisis Prompts Berkeley to Halve Its Offerings in East Asian

The California budget crisis has taken a toll on the University of
California at Berkeleys department of East Asian languages and cultures,
which has announced that this fall it will eliminate classes for 1,500
students to make up for an unexpected financial shortfall.

The cuts are a response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggers proposed state
budget, which would reduce spending on Berkeley by $30-million to
$40-million, the Daily Californian reported. The university has asked
several academic departments to make cuts to courses and faculty members
to close the gap, but hardest hit will be departments that employ many
adjunct lecturers and graduate-student instructors.

As a result, the East Asian department, which expects to lose $300,000 in
support, will cut 40 percent of its courses in Japanese, 54 percent of
those in Chinese, and 66 percent of those in Korean. It will also not
renew contracts for 13 lecturers. According to a notice on its Web site,
the department will restrict enrollment in its courses to students in the
College of Letters & Science.

The English department, which faces a $400,000 cut, has appealed to
faculty members with endowed chairs to donate a portion of their private
research grants to the department.

Berkeley students have organized an afternoon rally today to protest cuts
in the East Asian language programs. An online petition asking university
administrators to reconsider the cuts and to provide emergency funds for
East Asian languages has collected 900 signatures so far. Paula Wasley

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