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The Blue & Gray Press | May 23, 2018

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Staff Editorial: Reallocation’s Goal Should be Improvement, Not Elimination

The University of Mary Washington’s proposed “resource reallocation” is a discussion that has made the Bullet very nervous. While the Bullet is wary of cuts to the liberal arts, an unfortunate series of budget cuts from the Commonwealth of Virginia placed UMW, and other Virginia schools, in a difficult position.

The Virginia legislature has cut funding for higher education several years in a row, to the point that it only funds about 20 percent of UMW’s operations.

This is forcing the UMW administrators to treat higher education as a business, eliminating inefficiencies that are integral to a liberal arts school.

The Bullet would ask this of the administration: remember what we are when choosing to cut funding.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the shining star of the university, not the second-rate unaccredited business school, which is rumored to be the potential beneficiary of any reallocated resources.

The modern foreign languages department offers students valuable skills­­. If anything, the school should add to this department to include advanced Chinese, Pashtu and Arabic, which will provide students with a highly sought-after skill set.

Additionally, a liberal arts college is intended to provide a well-rounded education. Students at UMW don’t care if only five people are classics majors. Students attend this school because they like the freedom to take a classics class if they so desire. The same goes for courses such as dance, history or any other class in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Bullet recognizes that a lack of Commonwealth funding is forcing the school to eliminate academic and administrative inefficiencies. However, rather than cave to the Commonwealth’s priorities, which are inconsistent with what UMW’s should be, the University should refuse to abandon the liberal arts in favor of STEM programs and the business major fad. Instead, it could break the news that Virginia is literally not providing enough funds for the school to function, which is a much bigger news story.

Comments

  1. Senior

    UMW can only be competitive by remaining unique. There are way too many quality business schools, engineering programs, etc, on the east coast (or in our state alone) for us to ever be a big name in those fields. As the rest of the country moves away from liberal arts, the fact that we will have (hopefully) retained them can only help define our niche.

    It’s up to the student body to make sure that the administration listens to them, though. Same with the SGA; they’ll say fighting for our representation, but all they’ve voted to do is allow all of three (of 4,00) non-voting student note takers to attend reallocation meetings. So they won’t be able to change what’s going on, but they will be able to record it. Great!

  2. Rex Banner

    It’s disappointing to read such a myopic view from the New York Times, er, The Bullet. I’m a huge fan of the College of Arts and Science as well as an alum of the School of Business, and know–better than The Bullet apparently, the importance of not only both Colleges, but the importance of not jumping to conclusions on this subject.

    But instead, The Bullet has chosen to highlight the underlying contempt of some individuals and organizations toward the College of Business–to which I have to say ‘can’t we all just get along?’. Instead of the illustrious Bullet taking a swipe at the College of Business, a much more productive editorial could have espoused how a liberal arts education is valued by hiring managers.

    I hope this inappropriate comment draws further fire and forces the Bullet to address it from a public relations perspective. If the Bullet needs to learn more about public relations, they can learn it in BUAD 310 Principles of Marketing.

  3. Arnold

    So what should we cut? I hear a lot of discussion about “We can’t cut MY favorite program” but I don’t hear a lot of discussion of what students are willing to sacrifice in the budget re-allocation process.

    The whole thing reminds me of California’s budget crisis. Everyone wants more programs and stuff, but no one wants to pay more in taxes/tuition to support these new programs. President Hurley has clearly committed to this “reallocation”, so it’s time to have some hard conversations about what areas we’re willing to sacrifice. Or we could just keep talking about how there’s no way tuition can go up and simultaneously how we need more stuff.

  4. Sammy G Eagle

    Do we really need more stuff? Is the constant construction really necessary, or just an edifice complex? Cut that noise, perhaps? Or maybe we should stop dropping several thousand at a time to have a advertising firm come up with a completely enticing campaign?

    Worth noting: Professors at our college of business, which will probably never be competitive, cost a lot more than others because of the credentials they need for the biz. school to stay accredited.