The faculty will present a proposal to cut $2 million from the budget to the board of trustees next week.
The proposal, prepared by interim provost and dean of faculty, John Brabson in consultation with the faculty executive committees’ planning and budget subcommittee, mainly focused on $800,000 in reductions from contract faculty.
However, according to Sally Randel, vice president of the Office of Institutional Advancement, “administration will face broad equivalent reductions,” but she is unsure where and exactly how much.
The $2 million in reduction is to take place over the next two years and represents five percent of the college’s operating budget, said Randel.
“The implementation will occur over 2004-2005 when the goal is set to be achieved,” said Randel. “Some reductions will be made this year and more next year until the goal is met.”
Although the plan is a draft yet to be accepted by the entire faculty, Ken Burke professor of film studies and a member of the faculty executive committee perceives the proposed cuts as final.
“I don’t see any of it being changed,” he said. “We have to cut back somehow. The trustees have assigned the cuts to salary.”
The cuts in contract faculty are necessary said Randel, as Mills faces tight economic constraints similar to other colleges both private and state funded.
“It has to be done,” Randel said. “There are no other preferable methods of doing this.”
Among the departments to face cuts, dramatic arts would be hit the hardest by the decision. The possible cut is already creating controversy on and off campus with outside media coverage along with the circulation of a student a petition against the cut.
In compliance with the board of trustees mandate to avoid cuts in the tenure and tenure track positions, the drama department, with no tenure or tenure track professors was the most likely place to cut, said Burke.
“None of us wanted to see the college not have that program,” said Brabson.
” It’s possible that it might come back if additional resources are present. Everyone regrets the loss but because of the economy we have no choice