Oct 062003
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

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

program.

“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

lose accreditation.”

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

unfilled.

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

the program.

“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

institution.”

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

assistants.

“One of our classes doesn’t have a TA so we don’t have a lab,”

Brandl said.

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

each.

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

remain vacant.

“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

little differently.

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.

 

 

 

 

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