Applied Math, Slavic Languages
Saved From Closure, IES Dropped

At the last step in an eight-month program elimination process, President William P. Gerberding rejected plans to cut the applied math and Slavic languages and literature departments, but he approved terminating the Institute for Environmental Studies (IES), the President announced June 28.

"The 1995-97 state budget, while not nearly what we had hoped for, does arguably permit us to save for the time being at least some of the targeted programs," Gerberding said. The UW received $693 million for the next two years, a 4.9 percent increase in operating funds.

In a nine-page letter to faculty about the program closures, Gerberding said of applied math and Slavic languages, "Their elimination is not in the long-term interests of the University. ... They should be spared."

On the other hand, Gerberding followed the recommendation of Acting Graduate School Dean Dale Johnson to close IES. "In making this decision I am not intending to de-emphasize environmental studies on this campus, either as a field of instruction or as an area of research. The University of Washington is a leader in such instruction and research and will continue to be."

Officially, students in the program never majored in "environmental studies." Rather they received a "general studies" degree administered through the Office of Undergraduate Education. Students in the program will be able to complete these degrees in a timely manner, the President said.

Gerberding will name a task force to study interdisciplinary environmental education at the UW. That panel will report to incoming President Richard McCormick this fall.

In his statement, Gerberding justified saving Slavic languages and literature by stating that it is "simply too important to the intellectual life of this University--including such outstanding elements as the Jackson School of International Studies."

Applied math, he added, "is universally regarded as a department of high quality, fulfilling important purposes for which it was established a little over a decade ago."

Both units, however, will have to absorb some cuts. Arts and Sciences Dean John Simpson and other officials currently are working on reduction plans.

In addition, the School of Communications will lose its programs in advertising, public relations and broadcast journalism, as was earlier determined by Simpson. Gerberding has suggested to incoming President McCormick that he should consider "the future location and administration location" of the communications school.

The cuts in communications and environmental studies will save about $2.6 million in 1995-97. Students currently majoring in the programs--about 410--can complete their degrees in a "timely manner."

Several other units are also facing reductions. Speech communications--once tagged for possible elimination--will lose some positions. Degree programs in systematic musicology and radiological sciences have already been cut. The UW has already closed some library branches, consolidated nursing programs, canceled a UW public service TV program and cut more than 40 support staff positions.

Since 1992 the UW has had to absorb cuts roughly equal to 10 percent of its state-funded budget.

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