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UND PROVOST HEADS BACK TO THE CHALKBOARD CLASSICAL LANGUAGES NO LONGER DEAD, REVISED PLANS WILL BE DISCUSSED TODAY

In the face of dissent on and off campus, the UND administration has retreated from more than a dozen specific academic program cuts it recommended in September.

Instead, Marlene Strathe, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will selectively target faculty and administration jobs for cuts as opening occur.

She came out Wednesday with a second set of recommendations for program cuts and reorganizations, and they're on the agenda of the University Senate today. The Senate meets at 4:05 p.m. in Gamble Hall, Room 7.

Three months of controversy and discussions of alternatives to her first set of proposals have resulted in a new plan to cut more than $2 million in academic budgets. President Kendall Baker says courses needed to be tightened at least that much to meet reduced state appropriations for the next two years.

The new plan

In place of 14 programs that were up for elimination in earlier proposals, Vice President Strathe now has more general language and recommendations to save money by cooperating with North Dakota State University, just 75 miles down the road.

"What was most critical to me is that we are able to sustain high quality education programs at UND," Strathe said Wednesday.

Among programs she decided to watch closely, but not eliminate as earlier suggested, were classical languages, philosophy and religion majors, business and vocational education programs, an array of engineering, physics and teacher education programs, film classes and space studies.

Her proposals had alarmed most of the faculty in core liberal arts courses, particularly because of targeting Greek, Latin, Italian and philosophy. As one arts and sciences professor pointed out. "Most of us have the word, `philosophy' after our names." He was referring to their Ph.D. titles, for doctorates in philosophy.

UND languages chairman Ralph Koprince said Wednesday, "Obviously we are pleased about the classics.... The vice president's office is listening to concerns, and that's a positive step."

Koprince said there's still room to debate the provost's alternative of cutting out offerings in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, or other classes taught from time to time when outside teachers are available. "We've had a pretty good demand recently for Japanese," he said.

Supporters

Among the big influences in the revised plans came in the form of nearly 200 letters from students and educators across North Dakota supporting the majors offered by the Business and Vocational Educational Department. Though some of its courses are still on the list that will be eyed for the first personnel cuts in the future, the department drew some of the strongest support outside faculty.

Chairman James Navara said he wasn't surprised. "We felt kind of comfortable that we had support through the state. We've had a lot of graduates, who get jobs and stay in North Dakota."

Strathe said the flood of letters helped convince her such courses as business education vocational marketing education and information management were important to North Dakota's economy and to UND students.

Reorganizing

Though program cuts have held much of the immediate attention on campus, major reorganizations are in the offing that could shape not only UND, but the entire state's development in aerospace, health sciences and human resource development.

One of the latest plans would be combining the current College of Nursing with other allied health sciences and merging them with the medical school under a vice president of health sciences.

The position was opened recently with the early retirement of Dr. Edwin James, medical dean and health vice president who stepped down for health reasons.

The medical school is in the midst of a $13 million expansion at the former St. Michael's Hospital.

Strathe: Do as I do

Vice President Marlene Strathe of UND said Wednesday, she wants everyone of her academic administrators to start teaching at least one class a year. She's game for it too. Strathe plans to teach a class in the Center for Teaching and Learning next fall.

Source: Grand Forks Herald, December 2, 1993