LINGUIST List 3.424

Fri 22 May 1992

All: Closures at San Diego State

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  1. , Closings of academic depts and layoffs at san diego state

Message 1: Closings of academic depts and layoffs at san diego state

Date: Wed, 20 May 92 14:15:54 -0Closings of academic depts and layoffs at san diego state
From: <jkaplansciences.sdsu.edu>
Subject: Closings of academic depts and layoffs at san diego state


On May 13, San Diego State University, facing a probable 8.5% budget cut from
state funding, amounting to about an $11 million shortfall, announced major
eliminations of, and cuts in, academic programs. These cuts entail layoffs of
tenured faculty. Due to be shut down, with layoff of all faculty, are the
departments of anthropology, German&Russian, religious studies, natural
sciences (trains high school science teachers), family studies & consumer
sciences, aerospace engineering, health sciences, and industrial studies.
Scheduled for cuts of faculty, of varying scale, in within-dept reverse order
of seniority, are the departments of French&Italian (3 of 11), sociology (8 of
27), math (8 of 60 or so), and chemistry (14 of 23). The policy is to cut
"narrowly and deeply." Although discussion has been going on all year in the
Senate about the potential for serious funding cuts and ways this university
might respond to them, including program cuts, these cuts were announced
suddenly, with no prior consultation with the affected departments. Official
notice to individual faculty members of layoff is scheduled for "mid-June."
>From that time laid-off faculty will have 120 days remaining on the payroll.

The athletic department is eliminating golf, track and field, and one or two
other minor sports, a cut of about $200-$250K. The football and basketball
programs are untouched; the baseball program has lost a number of scholarships
(according to this morning's sports section of the San Diego Union-Tribune).
At this point there is no word of cuts in administration. Cuts in the school
of business have apparently been trivial in comparison with those suffered by
the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Sciences, and other colleges.

Some affected faculty are contemplating legal action, and other remedies are
being discussed. Three administrative moves may have some potential for
reversing the layoffs: cutting (or eliminating) intercollegiate athletics,
instituting a golden handshake program, and instituting a university-wide
salary reduction of up to 10%. Although the union is currently negotiating a
golden handshake program, we don't know how far along the negotiations are and
whether it will be possible to put it in place quickly enough to have an
effect on the current crisis. There are legal and adminstrative problems with
the salary cut. We don't know whether they're surmountable or not.

The whole California State University system--20 campuses, including the new
one at San Marcos in northern San Diego County--face the same funding
shortfall, but apparently (we have at this point hardly any information)
campus responses vary a good deal.

We ask that you consider writing to Pres. Thomas B. Day, San Diego State
University, San Diego, CA 92182, expressing outrage at this unprecedented
frontal assault on tenure and the centrality of academics to the university.
If the attack is allowed to stand, the consequences for higher education
within California and everywhere are incalculable. More importantly, we ask
that you write to California state legislators and state senators. We will
provide names and addresses if you contact us. We would be grateful for
copies of any correspondence sent in connection with this crisis.

We are sending this information out now, incomplete though it is, in order
that linguists may be informed as early as possible in this developing crisis.

Jeff Kaplan
Charlotte Webb (Chair, Linguistics and Oriental Languages Dept)
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