by David Safier
Q: For the moment, legislators seem intent to cut the three universities' budgets by something in excess of $100 million, perhaps in excess of $130 million. What's your next move?
A: My real point in all of this is: What do you want the university to be? If you want the university to be a comprehensive, research-grade, broadly scoped public university, we can weather the storm. We'll figure out how to do that. If what your true objective is, is to turn it into a state college -- and you could read these cuts to that as the true objective -- then say that. Say that. They haven't said that, except to us individually.
Q: Have legislators really told you they want to dump the university system in favor of a college system?
A: They tell us that when they say to me, "Why do you have any graduate programs? Eliminate your graduate programs." They say that when they say to us, "Why are you doing research? Why are your faculty not teaching six classes per semester, which is what they should be doing? They only spend a limited amount of time working." Which is a question or a statement based on someone who has no idea what they're doing. So that's how we get that feeling.