Spring Budget Cuts Target Student Centered Programs

Due to Pacific’s strained financial situation, administration has instituted budget cuts across many majors and programs in order to ensure financial stability for the future. While administration has stated that it wants to institute these cuts in a way that is equitable across all departments, many are unhappy with the way they have been implemented.

One student, Kyle Wolghemuth Political Science ‘21, even wrote a resolution to former Provost, now Interim University President, Maria Pallavicini in which he expressed his disagreement with the way that cuts were instituted to the Pacific Legal Scholars program. In the resolution, he calls for the cut to his program to be reduced from 33.1% to 10% to reflect the 9.75% cuts to programs University wide.

Once this resolution was passed in ASUOP, Wolghemuth even tabled inside of the University Center in order to gain signatures from fellow Legal Scholars who wished to show support for the resolution before finally submitting it to Pallavicini. Following the submission of the resolution, he and other Legal Scholars met with Pallavicini to discuss the situation.

After much consideration, Pallavicini responded to students’ concerns with a letter. In this letter, she expresses her appreciation for the show of initiative from students as they came to her with their concerns as well as the high regard in which she holds the Pacific Legal Scholars program.

“While I am resolute in the budget cut recommendations, I offer the following: if the operations cut to the Legal Scholars program constricts the director’s ability to offer any student programming that she deems indispensable, the director is invited to request additional support from the Vice Provost, Undergraduate education who will on a case-by-case basis determine the merit of such requests” says Pallavicini in response to the meetings she held with the Legal Scholars.

Some believe that more students and faculty should have been consulted before any decisions were made. While students in a few departments were notified by their deans of impending budget cuts, many did not find out until most of the plans were already finalized.

“I do think that faculty should have been more involved [in the budget cut decisions]. I will also say that the Dean of the College of the Pacific struggled a lot with how to cut the required amount from COP. That is not an easy task” says Bill Herrin, Director of the School of International Studies.

Similarly, Allyson Puyaoan Dental Hygiene ‘21 says, “I wish that students had received the news earlier so that there could’ve been maybe a forum where students could have voiced their opinions on which programs were most important to them. That way it could’ve been a more student centered process.”

No matter how the budget cuts are distributed, it is virtually impossible for everyone involved to be happy simply because money must always be taken from some of our beloved programs. Ultimately, the process could have benefited from more student and faculty feedback before the final decisions were made, however, the it is clear that much consideration is taken when deciding how each program should be affected.

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