By: Julio Menache / Staff Writer
The Board of Trustees has agreed to postpone cutting four popular degree programs.
During the June 12 meeting, the trustees unanimously voted to allow the administration until the next Board meeting to present an alternative budget that would allow the programs to survive, as well as give outgoing President Maidique, as well as his successor, Mark Rosenberg, time to look for donors for the programs.
The four programs which were saved were:
– Recreational Sport Management, B.S
– Recreational Sport Management, M.S
– Athletic Training Education, M.S
– Religious Studies Program, B.A
The move was met by applause by audience members, many of whom were students and faculty hoping that their degree programs would not be cut.
“This was a very rational decision,” said Senior Jeremy Paulovkin, who addressed the Board of Trustees on behalf of students in the religious studies program. “It was worth the slight discomfort and nervousness [of addressing the BOT].”
The Board, however, agreed to cut 11 degree programs:
– French education, B.S
– Mathematical Sciences, B.S
– Science, B.S
– Recreational Therapy, B.S
– English Education, MAT
– French Education, MAT
– Mathematic Education, MAT
– Physical Therapy, M.A
– Science Education, MAT
– Social Studies Education, MAT
“No one wants to see anything cut, but we just don’t have the money,” said Trustee Patricia Frost.
Before the Board made its decision, BOT Chairman David Parker designated time for members of the public to air out their grievances on certain topics. Each speaker was given two minutes to address the Board, with a timer mounted on the podium.
“I chose 7 speakers from across constituency of the university,” said Parker during the meeting.
Religious Studies student Jeremy Paulovkin, presented the Board with a petition of 1,771 signatures, asking for the B.A degree program to be saved.
“Fifty Percent of the Masters students in Religious Studies program come from the university’s undergraduate religious studies program,” said Paulovkin during his speech. “If you eliminate this program, the major will not survive.”
“We can raise significant money for the university over the next year or so,” said Nathan Katz, dean of Religious Studies. “Don’t cut this program preemptively.”
Robert Wolff, program leader for Recreational Sport Management, who did not address the Board, claims the numbers presented to the Board of Trustees were outdated. According to Wolff, Hugo Jimenez, Assistant Director of Technology, sent him the current numbers last week.
“In today’s meeting they used outdated numbers, they used 62 majors, and 40 intended, Hugo just sent us that a couple of weeks ago, its 95 majors, and 69 intended. That completely puts upside down whether we’re making money or not. We’re not losing money, we’re making money, and I’m surprised they didn’t switch to the new numbers,” said Wolff.
According to Wolff, he estimates there are 180 intended, unintended students in the program.
“We’re a money maker. They would gain nothing by getting rid of us,” said Wolff.
According to interim provost Doug Wartzok, the elimination of the four programs would have saved the university 1 million dollars. An additional $3.5 million have been saved by restructuring moves by various schools within the university, such as cutting faculty and staff.
After President Maidique unveiled a Powerpoint presentation detailing the massive changes that had occurred in the university since he first took office in 1986, the Board made the unprecedented move of naming the entire University Park Campus after Maidique.
In another show of gratitude, trustee Claudia Puig moved to have Maidique awarded President Emeritus status. The motion was passed through acclamation.
The Board also passed motions pertaining to the contract of incoming president Mark Rosenberg, as well as the transition period currently taking place.
According to Chairman Parker, Rosenberg and the Board have agreed to a $475,000/ year contract.
Rosenberg has asked, however, that $25,000 be waived from the first two years of his contract because of the budget crisis. Rosenberg also told Parker he felt a multi-year incentive program would be inappropriate. Parker and Rosenberg also agreed to a one year sabbatical after Rosenberg leaves the presidency, in which Rosenberg will return as tenured faculty.
Parker also moved to have Maidique’s contract extended by 33 days, a move which raised eyebrows among some of the Board members, who voiced their concern that Maidique would be too looming a figure in the beginning of Rosenberg’s presidency. Maidique, however, worked to calm Board members wary of the motion.
“I discussed this at length with Dr. Rosenberg as recently as yesterday and to us it is a non-issue.,” said Maidique. “A great former president is invisible and that is what I intend to do.”
The BOT also honored Chairman David Parker who was given Chairman emeritus, as well as passed a motion to name the new medical school, which according to Maidique has exceeded expectations by raising $95 million, as the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.