For the past several days (June 11-15), the headlines have bellowed about the calamity expected to cripple Cal State Northridge. Rather than attempting to smooth the waters, CSUN President James Cleary poured gasoline on the fire by threatening to cut over 500 instructors and nearly 1,000 classes. He and the CSUN faculty act as if the state is leading a personal vendetta against the university.
If one considers the situation calmly and has no stake in keeping jobs for the sake of employing a scholar, there are probably a number of actions that can be taken without hurting the student's education too much.
First, where is it written that "bigger is better" when it comes to institutions of higher education? Perhaps reducing the number of students is a good thing. If, by using their Office of Institutional Research findings, the students lost were those who would have flunked out or dropped out anyway, the cut would, indeed, be a profitable action to take.
Second, I think the departments specializing in special studies--i.e., women, blacks, Jews, Chicanos and any others--by their very exclusiveness encourage bigotry. Why not get rid of them and incorporate the contributions of these groups into all elements of the curriculum?
Third, to even consider spending $2 million to get into Division I athletics, while contemplating the firing of tenured faculty in the humanities, would be ludicrous if it did not reflect the anti-intellectualism of the university president. Division I athletics? NONSENSE! Get rid of the entire athletic program and save additional millions of dollars.
M. STEPHEN SHELDON