UWRF College of Arts and Sciences to face harsh changes after $1.5 million cut
March 10, 2016
The UW-River Falls College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) will be seeing a reduction in the numbers of courses and faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year as a result of trimming $1.5 million from its budget.
Dean of CAS Bradley Caskey said that when the budget cuts for the 2015-2017 biennial were announced, the College of Arts and Sciences planned to reflect the necessary cuts in the 2015-2016 budget. However, the numbers changed and faculty left the university, both through retirement and simply going elsewhere, leaving an unexpected amount to be taken out of next year’s budget.
Provost Fernando Delgado said that the impacts on students could include larger class sizes, fewer options for courses, classes not being offered on the usual rotation, faculty teaching courses they don't usually teach, and some courses not being offered at optimal dates and times. He said that both CAS and the university as a whole simply don’t have enough money to do everything that they want to do.
The impact for faculty will land partially on instructional academic staff (IAS), the faculty on campus who are not tenured or tenure track. Caskey said that at least six full-time positions will likely not be renewed, but it is still too early to know for certain. Because of the number of IAS within each department, some will be hit disproportionately harder than others.
One faculty member is already planning on leaving. At the Student Senate meeting on Tuesday, March 8, President Christopher Morgan read aloud an email from Kris Butler, chair of modern language. In the email, Butler said that she will be resigning at the end of the current academic year.
This loss of faculty is nothing new for CAS. The college has lost 21 full-time faculty members over the last two years, according to Caskey. He said that he doesn’t like it, but he’s seen people being let go every year since he became the Dean of CAS.
CAS has been hit particularly hard in recent years. Delgado said that this is because of a decrease in students enrolling at UWRF and a decrease in students with majors in the college while other colleges within the university have grown.
“What we have as an institution is a declining pie,” Delgado said. “Inside of that declining pie, what the college is faced, is their proportion of the pie is shrinking because other college’s pie slices are growing, and so they feel a double pressure.”
Caskey said that the specific implications of the cuts will become more obvious after the fall schedule is finalized and he can compare numbers such as the amount of sections offered for particular courses and how many seats are contained in them.
Delgado said that while the students get to leave the campus for spring break, he and others will be on campus working on finalizing everything. A series of meetings and decisions will happen over the next week, and more will be known for certain after the break is over.
Due to the fact that decisions are still being made concerning how exactly this will impact the university, a more in-depth article will be published in the March 25 edition of the Student Voice.