Minor exodus:Budget cuts claim Arts and Sciences options
By Jason McBride / Contributing writer
July 07, 2004
Budget cuts and a surge in students are being blamed for the pending discontinuance of two popular minor degree options.
Beginning winter quarter, the department of communication will no longer offer a minor.
The School of Technical Communications will also be dropping its minor, according to Sarra Kim, the department's assistant to the academic adviser. Kim was unable to specify when the change would go into effect.
The program cuts may not stop there.
David Sherman, director of student services for the communication department, said that students in their senior year will likely not be allowed to add communication as a second major.
"[The major] is too popular to staff classes," said Sherman. "The real problem is trying to get 400-level courses. It was holding up people from completing their minors."
Sherman said that most of the courses are "coded for majors only" and the department already restricts the number of people who can apply to the major, accepting about 20 students per quarter.
"It's a bulge in the python with the number of students we're dealing with," said Sherman.
According to Paul LePore, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the cuts are due to a decline in state funding over the past two years. During that period, 43 faculty members have been cut from the college of Arts and Sciences.
LePore said that students already enrolled in the communication minor can still finish. Since the change will not go into effect until winter, students will be able to add the minor in the fall.
The communication department was able to obtain staffing for six more sections of Communication 201, a prerequisite course for applying to the major, but Sherman said the addition was "just a one-year commitment ... after that I don't know."
However, associate professor Allyson Carlyle said the School of Information would be doubling the size of its informatics major to 70 students. Elaine Solomon, associate director of the undergraduate program at the Business School, said she expects a management option to be added to the major fall quarter.