Students may soon be paying more money for an inferior education. In response to upcoming cuts in state funding, the University will be taking measures to cut costs. These will include a reduction in the number of classes offered, significantly reducing the quality of education students receive. This will likely be concurrent with another tuition hike on top of the 7.9 percent increase from last year.
The reduction in the selection of classes offered will have several negative practical consequences. First, it will be harder for students to find courses that both interest them and best suit their academic needs at any given time. The decrease in the number of times a certain course is offered will make it more difficult to fit that class into a workable schedule. Then, undergraduates will be forced to compete more aggressively with each other for the limited spaces in the remaining classes.
The number of students in the remaining classes will be increased, which will significantly reduce the quality of education. Professors will have less time in class to devote to individual students. And with a limited amount of office hours split among more students, it will be increasingly problematic for them to obtain help with their work outside of class as well. Receiving less personalized instruction that is especially formatted to their individual learning styles will make it harder for students to obtain any sort of mastery over the material. They will be left to struggle through challenging course work with less avenues for receiving help at their disposal.
The development of personal connections in the classroom will also be hindered. In large lectures, a sea of unknown faces will make it difficult for professors to memorize the names of all their pupils, much less get to know them. Healthy student-teacher relationships are important for creating a more comfortable learning environment, inspiring students to perform their academic best and opening the door to mutually beneficial collaborate opportunities, such as research positions. It will also be more difficult for students to create personal ties with their classmates. In a university as large as our own, students need all the help they can get in breaking down the University into smaller sizes that facilitate relationship building. If classes become even more impersonal, an avenue of achieving this will be lost, damaging the overall sense of community at the University.
Lowering the quality of education is an unacceptable way to cut spending. The students should not be forced to suffer the consequences of the imminent budget cut, especially when the University continues to use money in frivolous and irresponsible manners. For example, the University spent over $20,000 for private flights for the Board of Regents during the presidential search in 2002. The University needs to learn to manage its money efficiently so that the quality of classes, one of the most integral parts of the University, can be maintained.