Message from Division of Social Sciences Dean Sheldon Kamieniecki

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Administration:

In the upcoming fiscal year (2009-2010) the Social Sciences division must absorb a permanent budget cut of approximately $1.3 million. There are no easy choices, and all of the cuts will be painful. Many of our undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as administrative operations, will be impacted.

As we continue preparing to implement these cuts by July 1, misinformation has been circulating about the potential impact of divisional cuts on the Community Studies Department. I am writing to clarify what is actually happening.

First, no final decisions concerning any of our anticipated budget cuts have been made. One option under consideration is reorganizing the delivery of administrative support functions. Although this may result in some job loss, the support functions for the program will continue to be provided. The goal of this move would be to streamline and consolidate operations while maintaining support for students and faculty. All ladder-rank faculty positions would be preserved.

Second, all students enrolled in the Community Studies major -- including 2009 frosh declaring that major -- would be unaffected. Our goal would be to maintain a full range of academic support.

Third, contrary to rumors, there is no decision -- or even formal proposal -- to discontinue the Community Studies major. Proposals to add, modify, or eliminate undergraduate majors are made not by the Dean, but by division faculty in full consultation with the campus's Academic Senate. I do, as part of ongoing strategic planning, intend to continue to engage faculty in a thoughtful, ongoing discussion about the Community Studies program. And, I am committed to exploring ways to ensure that students throughout the Social Sciences Division have opportunities to participate in community service, as they do now in many of our academic programs.

Finally, it has always been my intention to continue to engage our division's faculty and staff, the Academic Senate and campus leadership in transparently working toward the difficult decisions we all face in the wake of such challenging economic circumstances.

As I have said, all budget reductions are difficult. These, due to their scope, will be especially so. We will continue to plan in accordance with the principles and guidelines set forth and reiterated on various occasions by Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Kliger.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. I will keep you informed as we move forward.


Sheldon Kamieniecki

Dean, Division of Social Sciences