Cuts to send students downtown

Recent state budget cuts have forced Arizona State University to make numerous sacrifices for the 2009 fiscal year after reducing its budget by $88 million. Programs from the West and Polytechnic campuses will be going to the Downtown campus' College of Nursing and Health Innovation. (Stephanie Snyder/DD)
Recent state budget cuts have forced Arizona State University to make numerous sacrifices for the 2009 fiscal year after reducing its budget by $88 million.

The lack of funds will send students and programs to the Downtown campus. Several programs from the West and Polytechnic campuses will be moved to downtown or combined with existing downtown programs. The Polytechnic and West campuses will both be reduced to one college each, and 48 academic programs, several of which are on the Tempe campus, will be closed, according to a press release that was made public by ASU earlier today.

The Polytechnic campus’ School of Applied Arts and Sciences has been discontinued, pending approval of the Arizona Board of Regents, and will be merging its Nutrition and Exercise and Wellness programs with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation located at the Downtown campus. In addition, the Nursing program will be relocated to the Downtown campus even after already having been cut from 80 to 40 students. Also, some of the remaining science, humanities, social science and art programs of the school will be administered by the School of Letters and Sciences of the Downtown campus.

The programs at West that will be moved downtown starting in fall 2009 include the Nursing program that had also been previously cut from 80 to 40 students, the graduate level courses for the College of Teacher Education and Leadership, the School of Social Work programs, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management.

The major factor that will affect the Downtown campus is that the university has decreased the number of nursing students by 80 students per year, reducing the number of nursing students in the four-year program to 1,640 from 2,000.

“I’m actually transferring back to Minnesota,” pre-nursing freshman Stacy Olson said. “I don’t have $30,000 a year to spend to wait and see if I get accepted into the nursing program.”

Generally, students from all campuses will see major changes leading up to the 2009 fall semester. This redistribution of funds will require ASU to limit enrollment and enforce a deadline of March 1 for all incoming-freshmen, which is five months earlier than the admissions deadline for previous years have been. Also, the additional state budget cuts that ASU will have to deal with for the 2010 fiscal year could force the university to contemplate more layoffs, a significant rise in tuition, a decrease in enrollment and completely shutting down the Polytechnic and West campuses.

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