SPECIAL SERIES : SF State Budget Woes
HHS Hit Hard in Budget Proposal
April 19, 2004 6:38 PM
SF State’s College of Health and Human Services could be forced to cut $800,000 from its myriad of programs if a proposed $10.3 million in overall academic budget cuts is approved by the president and Academic Senate.
Of the 10 departments, the School of Social Work and the consumer and family studies/dietetics department (CFS/D) could be hit the hardest by the proposed cuts.
The School of Social Work is looking at a $200,000 budget cut, and the possible discontinuance of its undergraduate program. While the CFS/D cuts are reaching $140,000, both programs will leave many part-time instructors without positions.
Eileen Levy, director of the School of Social Work, is very upset that her department is under the gun.
“It’s devastating. We have about 250 students in our program who are primarily students of color who come from immigrant communities,” Levy said.
“Most are multilingual and are in social work because they want to give back to the community. Although everyone in the program will be able to graduate we will not be taking any new entrants into our program. I feel sad for the students. It’s a total loss.”
Dr. Nancy Rabolt, chair of CFS/D, said she is disturbed the master’s degree in family consumer sciences also is being considered for elimination.
“It’s quite upsetting. It’s a small program, and it doesn’t cost very much to run our program,” Rabolt said.
The master’s program is losing four positions and popular classes like Children and Family and Adolescents and Families, according to Rabolt, who said she hopes those classes can be offered once every three semesters.
The graduate program has been in existence since 1958 and is of high quality, according to Murphy. This group of leaders and managers is the hardest to recruit, he added.
“It’s really an inopportune time to discontinue the master’s degree program when we clearly have so many people in need.”
The master’s program, which currently has 35 graduate students, helps prepare and direct students to work with nonprofit associations like the YMCA, YWCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
SF State student Sterling Brown is currently studying in the Recreation and Leisure program and interns at the YMCA. While Brown is just an undergraduate, the cut in the program will prevent him from pursuing a master’s degree in the program at SF State.
“I’ve thought about continuing in the master’s program,” Brown said. “Now with the cuts, I will have to move out of San Francisco, if I decide that it is something that I want to do.”
The college’s gerontology program also is being slated for a proposed cut. The university will only save an additional $250,000 if the program is eliminated from the curriculum.
“It’s ridiculous; by 2025, 25 percent of the California population will be 65 or older,” said Brian de Vries, gerontology department chair. “Other than Notre Dame (de Namur University), SF State has the only gerontology program in Northern California.”
According to the Academic Senate Policy on Academic Program Discontinuance, which was approved by President Robert Corrigan in 1993, there are decision variables that must be considered before a program is cut.
Based on importance to the institution, quality of the program, and efficiency and demand for the program cuts may be made.
Furthermore, recommendations to discontinue a program can be made by either the faculty of the program, the dean of the college, the vice president for Academic Affairs or the president of the university.
Students enrolled in programs slated for elimination are guaranteed completion of their degrees at SF State.
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