STAFF EDITORIAL: Savings don’t add up
In our Jan. 26 staff editorial, “Savings don’t add up,” there were several factual errors regarding the University Planning Advisory Council’s decision to downsize SF State from eight colleges to six.
We stated that the College of Science and Engineering would combine with Health Sciences. This is incorrect, as the two colleges will not be placed in the same college.
It was also written that the Colleges of Health and Human Services would be combined with Behavioral and Social Sciences. The UPAC recommendation report does not place these colleges together.
The editorial also states that the College of Humanities would lose two departments to the College of Creative Arts, thus becoming the College of Creative Arts and Communications. The UPAC recommendation report does not recommend this, but does recommend that five departments currently housed in Humanities be moved to Creative Arts and Communications.
We regret these errors.
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 that Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget would create, it is nothing more than lip service.
The University Planning Advisory Council spent the last year and a half trying to find a 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.
The plan, authored by the 12-member committee, calls for the disruption of nearly the entire University and causes plenty of headaches.
If UPAC’s plan is approved, the University would be downsized from the current eight colleges to six, but no departments are set to be eliminated—they’d just be shuffled around.
The plan involves combining colleges that sometimes have little or nothing to do with each other.
The College of Science and Engineering would combine with Health Sciences, so nursing and engineering would be together.
And the Colleges of Health and Human Services would be merged with Behavioral and Social Sciences, putting environmental studies and counseling together in the same college.
Departments would be moved around and in some cases combined to share resources and save on administrative costs, but the proposal doesn’t outline details.
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.
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.