UAA College of Arts and Sciences receives unequal cuts

Budget cuts affected many programs and colleges within UAA. UAA’s College of Arts and Sciences, or CAS, has seen repeated cuts over the last five years and received over a 60 percent reduction of Undesignated General Funds, or UGF, according to a May 1 UAA Faculty Senate Resolution.

Graphic by Michaeline Collins.

“Students in CAS should be deeply concerned that their home college has lost over half of its state funding in the last five years,” Ian Hartman, a UAA history professor, said in an email.

A total of 541 majors will be eliminated from UAA due to the expedited program review. Of those, 259 are from CAS. The estimated savings listed for some majors that have been chosen for deletion are not justified, according to a May 1 UAA Faculty Senate Resolution.

“The CBPP [College of Business and Public Policy]  dean indicated that there would be no savings by eliminating BBA-MIS [Bachelor of Business Administration – Management Information Systems], yet the UAA interim provost presented a savings level orders of magnitude higher than for any other program ($650,000), a level for which he did not provide justification,” according to a May 1 Resolution Opposing the Deletion of the Bachelor of Business Administration.

The UAA Faculty Senate filed resolutions on May 1 opposing the deletion of Business Administration, Creative Writing & Literary Arts, Theatre & Fine Arts and Masters of Arts in English.

CAS has the largest enrollment of any college in the UA system and generated $20,435,679 in tuition revenue between fall of 2018 and spring of 2019, according to a Senate Resolution On the Necessity of Clarity and Transparency in Budgeting. Even with these facts, 63% of the majors proposed for deletion or suspension are from CAS.

“Over 80% of the majors affected by program eliminations are in CAS and UAA’s Community and Technical College, despite the fact that these two colleges receive the smallest amounts of UGF of all other colleges,” according to a May 1 UAA Faculty Senate Resolution.

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CAS received a smaller amount of funding than the other colleges in fiscal year 2020. CAS received $1,295 in UGF per enrolled major while other colleges received $3,135.

“[The cuts] already have had a deleterious impact on the quality of education. Faculty have left; departments have atrophied; there is a smaller range of academic offerings now than at any point in recent memory,” Hartman said in an email.

The resolution concluded that budget reductions have been unequally dispersed among the colleges and that they are hurting CAS the most.

“The plurality of students who enroll at the UAA, enroll in a program in the College of Arts and Sciences. These students receive a consistent and profoundly unequal share of university resources, which radically diminishes their ability to receive the education they expect and deserve,” according to a Senate Resolution On the Necessity of Clarity and Transparency in Budgeting.

The Faculty Senate recommended that there should be a base student allocation of UGF for all colleges. They believe that the base would prevent budget cuts from being proportioned unfairly.Hartman encourages students who want to voice complaints to learn about budget issues and ask questions regarding where their tuition dollars go and what it supports. He also recommends that students reach out to their legislators, the UA Board of Regents and administrators to ensure their programs are supported. These officials can be contacted through the UA Board of Regents website’s contact information page and the directory on UAA’s website.