College Park saves 2 programs originally slated for 'hit list'

December 06, 1991|By Lou Ferrara | Lou Ferrara,Special to The Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- University of Maryland officials announced plans yesterday to rescue two academic departments originally on a "hit list" to be abolished with nine others on the College Park campus.

The College of Library and Information Services and the Department of Nuclear Engineering will be spared in the budget-cutting process that has forced layoffs and reductions in academic offerings here during the past year, Provost J. Robert Dorfman told the campus senate.

Mr. Dorfman said the decision to preserve the two programs was sparked by recent developments off campus. The National Archives is set to open its new building next year just a short distance from the campus, providing an abundance of resources for the library program, Mr. Dorfman said. And University College, an independent night-school arm at College Park, will save the nuclear engineering program by offering classes to professional engineers and researchers in the area.

An administrative committee of about 15 faculty members and two students proposed eliminating nine departments and two colleges last spring to cut $10 million from the academic budget. Decisions on the future of the other programs are expected in early January.

According to a report issued in April, abolishing the library and nuclear engineering programs would have saved the university about $1.3 million.

But nuclear engineering department officials said last spring that eliminating their program would not save money. In fact, it could cost the state $2 million to shut down College Park's nuclear reactor.

The other programs to be eliminated are the departments of agricultural and extension education; hearing and speech sciences; housing and design; industrial, technological and occupational education; microbiology; radio-television-film; recreation; urban studies; and the College of Human Ecology.

Budget cuts at the flagship campus have reached nearly $40 million in the past two years.

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