Aeronautical engineering building. . . oops engineering building, at UW. We've been through this before.Clearly, UW is in economic dire straits.
Cuts are coming, and the proposed list is out. I just posted on that, proposing that the list of sixteen victims be expanded to seventeen.
Let's look at the rest of the casualty list. And while we do, let's keep in mind that UW is the state's only university, and a land grand institution. I.e., we have to protect what we have, but it has to have some purpose that suits us.
Here's the list:
Bachelor’s degrees recommended for elimination are: American studies, Russian, energy systems engineering, art education, modern language education and technical education.
Master’s degrees recommended for elimination are: French, German, neurosciences, philosophy, food science and human nutrition, sociology, environmental engineering, and adult and postsecondary education.
Ph.D. programs that would be eliminated are: adult and post-secondary education, and statistics.Some additional cost savings measures are as follows:
The proposal calls for the American Studies Program to be consolidated into a Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, along with the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and perhaps others; the Department of Statistics to merge with the Department of Mathematics; and the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies to consolidate with similar units. The goal is to achieve efficiencies through shared business and administrative services.
The Science and Mathematics Teaching Center, meanwhile, would be shuttered and reconfigured with a broader role in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education -- becoming a P-16 STEM education center dovetailing with UW’s science, engineering and education initiatives.Wow. Tough list.
Let's look at the bachelors degrees first.
Bachelor’s degrees recommended for elimination are: American studies, Russian, energy systems engineering, art education, modern language education and technical education.I'll be frank, I've never understood what "American Studies" was and what a student is supposed to do with it. Law school perhaps? If that's about it, by all means, give it the axe. I've long thought that law students were much better off with real degrees rather than ones that only entitled them to go to law school. What if they don't end up lawyers.
Of course, perhaps I just don't grasp what American Studies is. But then, that'd be part of the problem. That's a wise decision.
I suppose "energy systems engineering" is simply a specific application of mechanical engineer, so I guess I'm okay with that. I'm sad to see Russian go, but I suspect it has very few majors, whih is also sad. I'm not sure I know what "technical education" is, but I suspect that's a wise decision as well.
The rest of those, however, look like valid fields of education to me, so I'd urge them to reconsider.
On to the Master Degrees.
Master’s degrees recommended for elimination are: French, German, neurosciences, philosophy, food science and human nutrition, sociology, environmental engineering, and adult and postsecondary education.Gee, all of these look pretty significant to me. I guess if nobody is taking them, that's one thing, but again, I'd really urge them to reconsider. Once masters programs are lost, it starts to diminish the entire university and I'm afraid what the implications of this are.
Ph.D. programs that would be eliminated are: adult and post-secondary education, and statistics.Same story. That concerns me.
So I'm worried, I guess, about most of their proposals. But if stuff must be cut, it must.
I'd encourage them to take a look at things like "American Studies". I haven't surveyed UW's degree fields, but I really feel that studies that focus on a group or ethnicity are of low practical value to the student, which often comes as a rude shock at the end of the day when they go out for employment. The classic general degree in Liberal Arts, or in history or a language, including English, likely better serve the student. Anthropology, for that matter, also serves that end.
And I guess that might also suggest we look at some sacred cows. Stuff in the athletic department might be a good place to start. And yes, I am a UW grad. What about football?