Traditions on a chopping block
Posted on October 7, 2005
In an effort to balance the University’s budget, the Action Task Force has begun releasing recommendations for the La Verne community to offer their input. The ATF has submitted 13 recommendations, some extreme and some beneficial, with nearly every one including cuts to University programs.
The ATF has recommended a four-unit standard for all courses, eliminating the three-unit class, which currently allows students to easily reach the 17-unit maximum. This four-unit standard will limit a student’s number of classes and units available per semester, possibly prolonging graduation time.
A recommendation to increase class size threatens the essence of La Verne’s small school appeal. The classroom reduction entails cutting nearly 300 courses and reducing the number of part-time faculty.
The ATF has also recommended a course rotation plan meaning some classes would only be offered every other year including major, supportive, prerequisite and general education courses.
Although current students will still go by their entering course catalog, transfers will face increased planning difficulties.
One of ULV’s big draws is that it offers students one of the highest discount tuition rates among Southern California’s private institutions, but the ATF has recommended serious reductions to this discount rate to decrease the University’s spending on grants and scholarships by $2 million in 2007 from the current $15 million being spent this academic year. Cutting this discount may backfire and steer some prospective students away from the La Verne campus, considering that the high discount is one of the things that made ULV so appealing to current students.
Additionally, instead of basing student grants on grade point average, the Task Force has recommended that the University begin profiling students and give them financial assistance based on need.
Another of the ATF’s harsh recommendations is for the major programs at the University to decrease their expenditure budgets by a minimum of 2 percent.
Although this downgrade may seem small, some departments are already understaffed or using outdated equipment or both.
Despite all the negative cutting the ATF is suggesting, the Campus Time editorial board does smile on several recommendations.
The ATF plans to synchronize the academic calendars to one single calendar for every ULV program. This will create necessary order for all of ULV’s campuses.
The ATF is also recommending the establishment of a 128-unit graduation requirement for all undergraduate degrees.
Although some departments will need to cut some required courses, this could help students reach graduation day faster. This standard also includes minor requirements allowing more students to pursue a minor without the worry of finishing later.
However, despite a few positive points, the Action Task Force seems to be moving backward instead of moving forward. The word “action” does not seem to fit with the recommendations. “Inaction” might be a more appropriate adjective. These cuts within the University are constricting and limiting programs.
We recognize that the University does need to move forward and become aggressive in fixing the struggling budget. A suggestion: try action fundraising.
Also, we wonder why the ATF seems to have ignored the drain of an unaccredited law school to the University’s budget. If the institution does not make accreditation this year, changes need to be made and not to whole University, but to the dead weight of the Law School.
No doubt the ATF’s recommended cuts will help balance the budget, but they may also downgrade the excellent quality of a La Verne education. The ATF needs to look over the hill, instead of slashing away at the base.