Monday, June 29, 2009

The budget robots move to eliminate 11 degree programs at Rhode Island colleges

Here we go again - time and time again - eliminate opportunity in the name of cost savings. There is no courage here - there seems to be no courage within administrators in power to make decisions over people's lives.

Yesterday's Providence Pamphlet (Providence Journal) had a lead story involving the elimination of 11 degree programs at state universities here in Rhode Island. As always, the excuse is to save money. Say what you want, money is never saved, especially if you look at the savings in the long run. Consolidation robots are having a field day. If you have read this site, you know that my position is diametrically opposed to the consolidation efforts of government and industry. Consolidation can be necessary when some organization is simply out of money; but you all know the truth, government is not out of money.

What will be missed is opportunity for Rhode Island; but more importantly, individual students are being deprived of potential. Citizens will be deprived of an opportunity to pursue their dreams within their home state because of the consolidation robots. If every state follows suit, this country is in dire shape!

I'll touch on just a couple of degree areas that are being eliminated at the University of Rhode Island (URI). B.A. Latin American Studies - who cares about those Latin Americans anyway; as Dan Quayle once said, who speaks Latin in this day and age? Next is B.A. Physics - we don't need to worry - we already know about the theory of relativity. This is the theory that when times get tough, robots consolidate programs relative to the amount of money available. How about this one; B.S. in Chemical and Ocean Engineering - we don't need this - the oceans are only our future as humans on this Planet - green energy from the oceans be damned! No more B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Oceanography - take that Rhode Island - the "Ocean State".

I've only touched on a few of the changes coming to the Rhode Island educational system. To the administrators that can't find a way around the obstacles, turn the teaching back over to the teachers. Stop administering if you can't find the courage to establish new ways of doing business. While positions will be lost at the universities through attrition because of cost cutting, new ways to structure majors to meet the needs of students simply have to be found.

Damn it! Just look at what a college education costs today. Are you telling me that we have to have fewer majors than we had 10 years ago when the cost of an education was half of what it is now? Students are taking loans over $100,000 for 4 years of college and you can't find a way to make their education match their true vocation?

Fewer administrators, more professors and a little courage to meet the needs of the student is what is required. This can be accomplished with significant cost savings.


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