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Archive for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baker University cuts 5 majors

February 10, 2010

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In a budget-cutting move, Baker University announced the elimination of five majors of study, although many of the courses in those majors will still be taught.

The move takes effect in the fall semester of 2010 and will save the university about $400,000, said Steve Rottinghaus, Baker director of public relations. The savings come from the retirement of four professors and the relocation of seven others into different positions after the spring semester.

The majors are molecular bioscience, wildlife biology, computer information systems, physical education and political science.

The moves were made after reviewing findings of a committee that had analyzed all majors. They affect about 30 nonfreshman students.

Unlike past reductions that have cost 33 people their jobs, the latest move reduces positions only through attrition, Rottinghaus said.

Comments

none2 4 years, 2 months ago

I have to admit, this sounds bad. I think we all know that government supported schools are having issues in this economy, but many of us don't know about private school financial problems.

I know nothing about the quality of education at Baker, but at least on the surface it looks like a jewel of a post-secondary educational institution. While I'm a proud KU graduate, I admit that big schools like KU do not necessarily serve the needs of every individual. If you were to ask me who else I graduated with in my major, I couldn't tell you because there were hundreds. I really was only close to those I lived with. Where as with Baker, I would tend to guess that odds are good that you know a lot of other students.

If the problem is financial issues with the value of their endowment, alumni contributions and the United Methodist Church contributions, I hope it is just a temporary setback. This school may be small, but it is an institution that the entire county should be proud of having.

Finally,

Csouders: The best thing you can do is excel at whatever the future holds for you. My only advice is that if there is something you think you want to do, make sure to do it sooner than later. As scary as you think the real world may be, it isn't anything to fear compared to lost time and regrets. Henry David Thoreau wrote in his day: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation..." There is a lot of truth to that. Do what you heart tells you that you want to do, not what you think you should do as "shoulds" are commands from other voices -- not your voice. Learn also to distinguish between critics who are self-serving versus those that are giving you advice on how to do what you do better.

Who knows? Perhaps someday you might come back and help your alma mater either financially or in other unseen ways.

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ralphralph 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm curious about cutting CIS ... is there a low demand at Baker compared to other college or vocational schools? Was it just that the professor for that program was retiring so they cut while the cutting was good? Seems vaguely irrational to cut your computer education program. It would seem computer information will continue to be a source of many jobs in the future, and cutting the major would deter potential students ...

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Paul Decelles 4 years, 2 months ago

I am a bit surprised that molecular bioscience got cut. Maybe the lab/supply costs were an issue for there.

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Csouders 4 years, 2 months ago

Like I stated above I in no way am advocating against the decisions of the University Advisors; I am only trying to provide insight into a situation that I feel was not always so forthcoming with information and support of the students and faculty within the University. I very much respect and love Dr. Pat, and am looking forward to her leading the charge of Wildcats into the future for years to come.

I unfortunatly will be graduating with a bitter taste in my mouth at the loss of a major that was so influential in my journey to adulthood, and the sadness that no longer will such a wonderful friend and professor will be unable to share all of his knowledge with the students at the University within the classroom. Hopefully this situation will work out for the best, and find peace with all parties involved.

-C.Souders

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Csouders 4 years, 2 months ago

My hopes for this post is to bring awareness of what kinds of turmoil this situation can and WILL bring to the University as the aftermath of these initial cuts set in.

First, I will begin by saying that I have the utmost respect for Dr. Long and the process in which she has had to forge through this past year; however, at what expense is this decision to have on the Baker students? While I am currently a senior at the University and will be graduating with a Political Science degree in May; I am writing on behalf of those students unable to complete their requirements in order to graduate with the same major, as well as giving insight into the wonderful Professors that are being lost in order to preserve our University.

Though I understand that this was no easy task, and that in order to preserve the campus things must be cut. However, why are depriving the students of this amazing University the chance to pursue what they feel is their calling when they carefully declare their major and discipline? I feel as though political scientists are very unique people, as with any major you specifically "fit" into it, and I would have never been able to find my place at Baker without the help of Dr. Bruce Anderson within the Political Science Department. Dr. Anderson provided me with tools I needed to go out into the world and find what truly would be my purpose in life. Not only are we doing a major disservice to the incoming freshmen by limiting Major choices, but we are depriving them of the ability to meet and find a Professor just like Dr. Anderson. Are we willing to settle for a less qualified teacher or adjunct to teach our students instead of a Dr. who is more than willing to assist in every way possible. While I am attempting to provide an unbias opinion, it is incredibly hard not to. As you step out into the work force it becomes and intimidating and scary arena filled with harsh critics and those that do not support you; these professors provide more than just a service to the students of this institution, they provide a friendship and a sense of self understanding. The Professors of these departments are all unique and special to each and every person here; losing one is hard enough, is it really necessary to continue cutting the quality of the education with each release of a major or professor. I think not.

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