Clarion's cuts will diminish the university

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It is with great disappointment that I write this letter. It seems that Clarion University of Pennsylvania has chosen a path that would lead it away from being a comprehensive multiprogrammed university to an institution with a few programs and nice facilities ("Clarion U. to Dissolve College of Education," Aug. 16). This plan has been called "a path to success." To me it sounds like a road that is unnecessary and irresponsible.

It's unnecessary in that the cuts affect subjects that augment learning. Recently a leading researcher in memory mentioned that music and languages are two of the subjects that help preserve memory and augment the retention of other subjects. Why wouldn't a university want to instill this kind of pedagogy?

If this were not bad enough, the proposal of removing the Academic Enrichment program is worse. Removing Academic Enrichment sends a message that at Clarion, no space is made for the learning disadvantaged and disabled. Students who need tutoring and support services would have to look elsewhere.

Equally disturbing is the proposal of cutting the cleaning contract with Goodwill Industries, a contract that has provided many underprivileged individuals in the community with employment and income that would be unavailable otherwise. What does cutting this say about Clarion's concern for poverty?

I know that times are tough and the economic future grim, but perhaps curtailing items like building spending and executive expenses could make up for the loss of revenue. Revenue is a large loss, but even larger is the loss of respect, comprehensive education and reputation in the social justice world.

BEN AUSTIN
Columbus, Ohio
The writer is a Clarion University alumnus, Class of 2010.


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