Council proposes to eliminate two colleges
May 7, 2010 7:31 PM
The number of colleges that SF State is divided into could be reduced from eight to six if a proposal by the University Planning Advisory Council is approved.
Still in the preliminary phases, the proposal is written to reconfigure and combine colleges in an effort to save over a million dollars and reduce the expanding budget deficit, according to the UPAC.
"We're thinking of a long-term vision on how to come to grips with budget shortfalls," UPAC Chair Shawn Whelan said.
Despite Governor Schwarzenegger's proposition to restore $305 billion to the University of California and California State University systems, budget shortfalls still plague the University. With an annual budget looming around $18 million, the UPAC asked for campus submissions on how to best curb soaring costs. They received 94 proposals with over 100 different ideas, and 20 percent asked to look at administrative structure.
"At the minimum, it could save at least $1 million, and up to $2 million, in administrative salaries," Whelan said. "If we can save $1.5 million in cuts that wouldn't come from classes, we should think about it."
The reconfiguration aims to consolidate colleges, leading to more collaboration within the colleges and departments that work well together, according to the UPAC.
The plan would move some departments to new colleges --like Jewish studies to the college of ethnic and cultural studies. The college of behavioral and social sciences would be cut, and departments such as international relations and political science become part of the college of liberal arts.
The most populous new college would be health, education and human services that would encompass departments from public administration to nursing and urban studies to criminal justice.
In its infancy, the plan has shown no signs of proving if eight colleges would be better than six or if departments would be satisfied with their placement in a certain college.
Despite the added revenue, many faculty members wonder if it is worth restructuring the colleges. Whelan said a minor concern is the increased workload on a fewer number of deans.
Unlike universities like San Jose State University, which has had to cut professor positions, or Humboldt State, which has had to discontinue programs, the SF State is trying something different.
"We don't want to have to go to extremes but be as prepared as possible to deal with budget shortfalls," Whelan said.
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