Given a continuing budget deficit and a new budget model, my most pressing duty is to ensure efficient, effective and strategic use of our limited resources. There are no easy choices to meet our budget deficit, which stands at about $1 million left.
As such, the Dean’s Office has decided to change the administrative structure for languages at KU. For the past five years, several of our departments have been concentrated under the directorship of the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures. At the end of this academic year, the administrative structure of the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures will be discontinued. While the school will no longer exist, the departments will remain unchanged.
When the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures was proposed and created, the expectation was that having such structure would result in gains in enrollment and recruitment for the languages, as well as private support to sustain programs. Despite concerted efforts from SLLC leadership, staff and partners, these expectations have not materialized. The decision to discontinue the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures as an administrative unit was made in consultation with leaders of the school and core departments, as well as our Dean’s Office leadership team.
The College fully supports and values KU’s distinction as a leading institution for language instruction. We will reinvest some SLLC funding back into departments that are currently core members of the SLLC; the rest will be counted toward budget savings.
I want to make very clear that the departments within the school will continue to operate as they have. This is a change only to the overarching administrative structure of the school and will not affect degree offerings or curriculum; students will not be impacted.
Given our duty to be responsible stewards of state and taxpayer funds, we are continually evaluating our resources against our outcomes. There is no option to not make cuts; rather, we must be strategic in how we meet these cuts while preserving the core functions of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
John Colombo, PhD
Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
Professor of Psychology