Thursday, May 8, 2008

budget cuts

I'm frustrated and deflated.  The University of Florida announced Monday it's new budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.  The effects on anything non-technological are horrid.  Anything falling into the category of Liberal Arts is in danger.  

I'm so worried for some many people I love and care about.  I'm also concerned about the quality of my education in the upcoming year.  I have a new sense of urgency to get my degrees from this sinking flagship university as quickly as I can before they become worthless.  While I only have a year left, I can't help but worry about the upcoming semesters and how these awful cuts will trickle down to the mere undergraduates such as myself.  I'm also concerned for the Women's Studies Dept.  I have no idea how it got out the way it did in the overall budget cuts.  I'm wondering what goddess we've appealed to and how it possibly came out unscathed when department like Philosophy and Romantic Languages were hit so hard.  Not that the effected departments are any more (or less) valuable than WST, but they are much more ingrained in traditional university academia.  Bernie Machen (UF dictator and fascist pig) doesn't seem like the type to give a shit about Women's studies.  In fact, I know he doesn't given his history dealing with activists on campus.

I'm also concerned for the Botany department.  It's small, and just got merged in with Zoology and Biological Sciences.  The Extension office got hit REALLY hard as well.  This will have a horrible overall environmental impact and possibly terrifying effects on the large Florida agricultural industry.  IFAS provides so many services for the community as well as acts as a place to network for those doing research in various Florida ecosystems.  I'm curious as to how this is going to pan out in the future and if the graduate students I've become friends with are going to be soon facing issues those in Philosophy and Romantic Languages are now.  IFAS did a lot for the natural sciences.  The two institutions have a beautiful partnership, which from what I've observed, is beneficial on all ends.  I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't graduate early like I could have.  Perhaps its for the best though.  Now I can stay, fight, and be a pain in the administration's ass.  Good thing I'm good at that.  The problem is, this is so big and multifaceted I don't know where or how to start.

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