Budget cuts have affected the colleges at CSU in different ways,
but in the College of Engineering the cuts have meant the loss of a
“Because of budget cuts we have been unable to replace a key
position,” said Terry Podmore, the program leader of the
Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering Program, which is being
phased out. “We are unable to offer the course because we would
The program, which deals with irrigation and power machines used
in agriculture, is a low enrollment program and has been under
scrutiny for some time, Podmore said.
A key faculty member left the school, leaving a vacancy in the
program. Due to budget constraints, the position was left
Sandra Woods, the department head of civil engineering, said the
budget cuts merely sped up the process of ending the program.
“It was a low enrollment program and we couldn’t fill (the
vacancy),” Woods said. “All the students in the program will be
able to complete. We just didn’t admit any new freshmen.”
Podmore said it was considered a proactive measure to eliminate
“It’s under consideration to make it a concentration in civil
engineering,” Podmore said. “My concern is that the impacts of the
budget cut are clear here. The program supports the land-grant
Neal Gallagher, College of Engineering dean, said that the
college is fairly unique in that it can handle budget cuts a little
easier than other colleges.
Though they have had to freeze 10 positions in the past year,
the college brings in a lot of funding through gifts and grants,
which help fund the programs.
“Last year our total budget was almost exactly $60 million,”
Gallagher said. “About $40 million is money that comes into the
faculty from proposals that they write.”
As part of that, roughly $10 million goes to the university to
support a variety of things, Gallagher said. About $5 million comes
to the college in the form of gifts.
The remaining amount of funding comes from the university.
Steve Brandl, a senior mechanical engineering student, said one
thing he noticed from budget cuts was a lack of teaching
“One of our classes doesn’t have a TA so we don’t have a lab,”
Rupert Herrick, the assistant dean, said about $300,000 was cut
from across the total budget for this year.
“The university typically pays for about eight months of the
faculty’s salary,” Gallagher said. “We have a lot of staff that
aren’t paid for directly by the university.”
The proposals that the faculty members write to outside sources
help fund the rest of their salaries. Gallagher said he would
estimate most faculty members bring in about $400,000 a year
Gallagher said the college has to work hard to bring in money to
attract good faculty members.
“You can’t expect to pay a faculty member peanuts and hope
they’ll stay instead of going to an IBM,” Gallagher said.
The college in the past has set up an equipment package to
attract faculty members while expecting them to write proposals in
order to get the overhead money coming back to them.
Gallagher said he does not expect the unfilled positions to
“We’re trying to save up some of the money so that two or three
years down the road we can fill those positions,” he said.
The number of students in the college is very high and they are
at a record level of research as well, Gallagher said.
“We’re being as productive and teaching a bunch of students,”
Gallagher said. “We’re trying to dramatically increase the amount
of gifts. That’s a big thing and I think we can do it.”
Despite budget cuts, Gallagher said he thinks the college has
done a good job of minimizing the impact on students.
Sandra Woods said some of the courses available are arranged a
Some courses taught twice a year are only taught once a year
now,” Woods said.
Sarah Woods, a senior studying electrical engineering, said she
has not seen much change.
“There’s been a few less classes available but sizes are about
the same,” Sarah Woods said.