Friday, June 12, 2009

WSU to cut Department of Theater and Dance

The Associated Press reported from Pullman Washington on Wednesday that the Washington State University Department of Theater and Dance will not survive the budget ax by merging with the University of Idaho program in nearby Moscow.

WSU Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick Bayly said Tuesday the department, which has 105 students and was listed for elimination in a preliminary budget last month, will be cut.

Bayly says the schools, with main campuses that sit about 10 miles apart in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, are discussing how they can help each other when offering the same courses.

But Bayly told the Lewiston Tribune the proposal to merge the two theater and dance departments is a "non-starter."

This is really too bad because it seems that the merger would have worked nicely. WSU dance instructor Crystal Fullmer said both departments would grow together because WSU's department focuses more on its undergraduate studies and the UI department seems to focus more on its master's program. Apparently, they just weren't willing to work together for the good of the students.

Do we think this is going to become the new financial epidemic? Perhaps it already has - considering that major Musical Theater & Opera programs are having their budgets cut dramatically.

In the case of Arizona State University, not only are operating budgets being slashed by tens of thousands of dollars, but faculty are also being asked to take mandatory time off without pay. And, since they can't cancel classes, this just means that for 12 days out of this fiscal year some faculty members have to work without pay.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave your comments by clicking below...

[Photo - Courtesy of the WSU Website]

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