Sunday, October 18, 2009

Summary of Some UCI Cuts

At UCI, in addition to the furloughs, a number of staff and lecturers have been laid off; for instance, 26 staff (1/3) will be laid off in the school of the Humanities, and 40 lecturers have been let go campus-wide. The dean just told the chairs that she probably will need to lay off 20 lecturers in composition and language instruction. Also, the School has been given a salary savings target (you will have saved through furlough this amount) of 1.3 million, but the accounting so far shows it's more likely to be only just shy of a million. That means another 300k to cut somewhere to meet the target given by central admin.

As a result of the budget deficit and in order to meet the student demand for General Education, Preparatory, and Key courses [entry to the major], the maximum capacity of both lectures and discussion sections has been increased as follows:
In BioSci, caps in some lecture sections are being increased from 343 to 444 with no discussion sections provided and, in others, 200 to 300 with no discussion sections provided. Engineering CEE60 has doubled its cap for both class size (30 to 60) and lab size (15 to 30). Anthro 2c lecture has increased its cap from 190 to 344; Anthro10/Socio10 has increased the cap from 125 to 160. In Math, four out of five General Education courses will have fewer sections this year. Econ, Linguistics, and PoliSci are increasing the number of students admitted to some classes by anywhere from 40 to 236 students per class. The cap for Dance 90a is going from 24 to 60; despite huge demand in 2008, Art 1a will be reduced from 5 sections to 1. Due to the reduction in the number of sections offered (from 59 to 50), demand will not be met in the Fall for 200 students who are wait-listed for Writing 39b, 71 students for Writing 39c. As of August 20th, Humanities Core course had reduced the number of sections it offers from 45 last year to 32 this year.

Access to research materials, computers, and other resources will be cut dramatically as well. As a result of state-mandated cuts, during the fall quarter, all libraries will only be open half-days on weekends; Langson Library will close at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 5 p.m. on Fridays, significantly reducing opportunities for weekend study and research. The Libraries Gateway Study Center will only be open after 6 p.m. M-Th, and only 4 hours on F-Sa. Many students rely on Gateway computers to complete their course assignments. Library book orders are restricted to items required for instruction. The UCI Libraries are bracing for further reductions in services, collections, and personnel in order to contend with a $4 million budget cut. These reductions in hours, services, and acquisitions (echoed at other UC campuses) will significantly diminish faculty and student access to the latest knowledge in our fields, as well as students' ability to seek information and work in a quiet setting on campus.

In other sectors such as facilities and maintenance, anticipated layoffs (11 for Facilities Management and 35 for custodial workers) will not only create hardship for some of the lowest paid workers on campus, but will inevitably lead to an unkempt and potentially unsanitary campus environment: trash collection in campus laboratories has been reduced to once per week. As a campus that has been praised for its efficiency in maximizing existing resources in the past, UCI stands to suffer in profound ways from the new round of cuts - there is very little "fat" to be trimmed.

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