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Deans Submit Program Cuts At UW

Deans of several University of Washington schools and colleges on Friday submitted their proposals for $6.5 million in program cuts to UW President William Gerberding.

The proposed reductions include elimination of the Graduate School’s Institute for Environmental Studies, a major scaling back at the School of Communications and elimination of a master’s program for monitoring health in the nuclear industry.

Final decisions will be made by the Board of Regents, and could be delayed until late June by appeals and deliberations.

“This process has been painful and divisive. It is now entering another phase, and I will review the deans’ decisions carefully,” Gerberding said. “There remain many unknowns.”

The Legislature last year requested 2.4 percent budget reductions at all the state’s four-year colleges and universities. The UW’s share of that cost-cutting campaign is $12 million, and the university plans to pare an additional $6 million from its budget - for a total of $18 million in cuts - to create a reserve fund whose uses are still a subject of internal debate.

Legislators, meanwhile, are expected to complete the budget process by the end of the month, and could provide more for higher education than is anticipated by school officials.

Dean John Simpson of the College of Arts and Sciences proposed $4.9 million in cuts, Graduate School Dean Dale Johnson outlined $1.4 million in savings and Dean Gilbert Omenn of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine proposed trimming $227,410.

The deans were asked to pare their budgets by 3 percent, for a total of about $6.5 million in program cuts. The remaining cost reductions are being made at numerous levels on the campus, said school spokesman L.G. Blanchard.

Simpson’s biggest move was a call for major reductions at the School of Communications - eliminating programs in advertising, public relations and broadcast journalism and retaining those in print journalism and media studies.

At the Graduate School, Johnson proposed eliminating the Institute for Environmental Studies, though he has requested appointment of a task force to continue interdisciplinary study of the environment at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Omenn proposed eliminating his department’s master’s degree program in Radiological Sciences, which trained students to monitor worker, public and environmental health in the nuclear industry.

Any student or faculty member affected by the cuts now has 21 days to file an appeal with the Faculty Senate. A review committee would consider the appeal and report to Gerberding within 30 days.

Gerberding would then have 30 days to make his recommendation.

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