STAFF EDITORIAL: UPAC packed with insufficiency

One million dollars may sound like a lot of money to the individual.

But as a savings solution proposed to combat an existing $18 million SF State deficit or the estimated $32 million in additional funding cuts to the University that Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget would create, it is nothing more than lip service.

Basically, the University Planning Advisory Council spent the last year and a half trying to come up with a useful solution to cushion the budget shortfalls, and managed to come up with a plan that would cut only 5.5 percent from the current deficit.

In the process the 12-member committee came up with, a plan that calls for the disruption of nearly the entire University and causes plenty of unnecessary headaches.

If UPAC’s plan is approved, the school would be downsized from the current eight colleges to six, but no departments are set to be eliminated–they’d just be moved around.

The plan involves combining colleges that sometimes have little or nothing to do with each other.

The College of Ethnic Studies would merge with the College of Education, joining the Latino/Latina studies department with the department of special education.

The College of Science and Engineering would combine with Health Sciences, so nursing and engineering would be together. What, exactly, nursing and engineering share is a mystery.

The College of Humanities would lose two departments to the College of Creative Arts and become the College of Creative Arts and Communications.

And the College of Health and Human Services would be merged with Behavioral and Social Sciences, putting environmental studies and counselingtogether in the same college.

Departments, happy where they are, would be moved around and in some cases combined to share resources and save on administrative costs, but the proposal doesn’t outline which departments would share resources, faculty and costs.

Those costs amount to six administrative jobs that would be dissolved.

The savings are far too inconsequential for the amount of disruption they would cause. This is not a solution, but rather a reactionary quick fix.

Also, more than 30,000 students attend SF State, but since last May only two students have represented the student body as UPAC members. How can a committee that’s proposing such drastic changes not include a student’s perspective in their decision making process?

Trading six administrators for $1 million will further weaken a University that resides in a state that has seen the quality of its higher education plummet since the introduction of the 1960 Master Plan.

This plan cannot move forward.

Luckily, President Robert A. Corrigan has the authority to shelve the recommendation.

We urge the president to do just that.

It’s admirable that UPAC is looking for ways to save SF State money and decrease the impact of the state’s dwindling contributions to public education, but college restructuring isn’t the way to go.

SF State prides itself on ingenuity and creativity, but this proposal lacks both. Please Corrigan, if you respect your students and value their education, use some of that creativity to find a better solution to absolve the University’s debt.

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