I bet you know that politicos in California and New York are cutting higher education. Five will get you ten you haven’t heard as much about the cuts in Nevada.
At the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the state’s budget crisis has hit the journalism department. This article recently published in the school’s student newspaper talks about the ramifications of budget cuts. The writer says, “Within the journalism school, the two visiting faculty positions – filled by Kathy Espin and Charlotte Anne Lucas – have been eliminated. A few part-time positions will also be cut….For the fall 2008 and spring 2009 semesters, the journalism department’s personnel budget for both visiting and part-time faculty will be reduced by $186,000 – $200,000, with additional cuts possibly on the horizon.”
A few part-time positions….Ok, I’ll bite.
How many NTT journalism faculty can you fit onto a poker chip at UNLV? Some information further along in the piece gives us more clues: “Last school year, there were 37 sections taught by part-time instructors, which will be reduced to a mere 16 in the fall, subsequently affecting accreditation issues, class sizes and limited course offerings.”
So, in the UNLV’s journalism department $186,000-$200,000 will get you Blackjack (21) sections of courses taught, and a pair of Queens (visiting professors). Using the UNLV Bursar’s Office handy dandy Fee Calculator, one discovers undergraduate tuition for 15 credits for Fall 2008 will be $2,366.50 per semester. A single three-credit course will set a student back $591.50. Thus, a single section of Journalism with 22 students enrolled generates $13,013 in tuition revenue. UNLV part-timer pay ($2,200 per course) amounts to just 16 percent of the tuition in that course.
My guess is that a few part-time positions means 7-10 faculty, plus the pair of visiting profs.
At a cost of $200,000 per year, those 9-12 temporary journalism faculty are a bargain at twice the price. Then again, it’s Las Vegas; bargains abound. At UNLV, so do the whales, and it’s the tenured and TT whales who enjoy all the job protection, perks and pay.