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Archive for Thursday, September 22, 1994

KU CUTS POPULAR SEX CLASS

September 22, 1994

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KU administrators are cutting the frequency of the most popular class on campus from once a semester to once a year.

Social welfare course 303, "Human Sexuality and Everyday Life," arguably the most popular course at Kansas University, is being cut in half.

The course has been mentioned by name under KU's entry in the respected Fiske Guide to Colleges, and the teacher, Dennis Dailey, professor of social welfare, was last year's recipient of the prestigious HOPE teaching award.

Nonetheless, administrators have decided to offer "Human Sexuality" once each year instead of twice a year.

"It was a bit of a surprise when I found out," said Dailey, who was informed of the decision this summer. "I don't think it's because of me. At least I hope not."

The rationale is lack of funding, he said.

Although the class is offered through KU's social welfare school, it is considered a "service course," or one that is open to all undergraduate students, many of whom take it as an elective.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences partially funds such courses, and administrators in the college decided they no longer wanted to pay part of Dailey's salary or the costs of a graduate teaching assistant for the class twice a year, he said.

Thus, instead of teaching about 500 undergraduate students who normally enroll in the undergraduate course, Dailey will teach a graduate class open to only about 30 social welfare students, beginning this spring.

Starting in the 1995-96 academic year, "Human Sexuality" will only be offered in the fall.

James Muyskens, liberal arts dean, said although the class was excellent, "The real issue is the college feels it's unusual for it to be paying for courses to be taught by other schools."

"We have quite a few courses in biology, sociology and psychology that cover much of the same material in a different manner. We've decided we would use some of the funding for GTAs in those courses."

Muyskens said he didn't believe the college should subsidize classes offered through other schools.

"The College certainly doesn't charge other schools if they send students to us, and we certainly have students from all the other schools," he said.

"It's a shame they have to cut a class that students want to take," said Melanie Zack, a junior who took the class last year.

"Everybody knows about that class," said Student Body President Sherman Reeves. "I've only heard good things about it."

Reeves said the decision to cut the frequency of the course didn't make sense.

"When you have a proven record of success, it makes sense to have more offerings," he said.

He said student leaders may ask administrators to reconsider the decision.

Muyskens said, "We obviously want to provide what's best for the students. We certainly are open to discussions of possibilities."

Dailey said cutting the most popular class on campus "is a little ironic. It is a class that is valuable."

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