sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2010-02-24 12:12 am

Electricity and trash

The good news: Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle (1958) was worth going out in the eventual freezing rain to see (as was the unexpected short feature, Cours du soir (1967), essentially a masterclass in mime—I have never seen anyone so convincingly fail to hold on to an nonexistent fish), and we're going back on Saturday for Playtime (1967).

The bad news:

A report by the Brandeis school of arts and sciences proposed that the university scrap graduate programs in anthropology and theater design and reduce the number of university-sponsored doctoral students in computer science and chemistry. Undergraduates would be affected, as well, with the proposed elimination of Italian studies and Hebrew majors . . . Ten of the faculty positions would be cut from the sciences by eliminating the teaching and research of chemical dynamics, immunology, radio astronomy, and combinatorics, a branch of mathematics . . . In addition to fewer majors to choose from, undergraduates would no longer be able to minor in Yiddish, East European Jewish culture, or Internet studies. Those courses will still be offered but less frequently, Jaffe said.

Because evidently neither theater arts, nor Yiddish, nor Hebrew is essential to a Jewish liberal arts university. (And radio astronomy is fighting words with me.) O my alma mater, stop embarrassing my degree!

[identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
I really can't see how they can possibly think of cutting Yiddish and Hebrew. I think they're trying to scare monied alumni into donating? Pretty sad, all the same....

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
I think they're trying to scare monied alumni into donating?

That's not the way to do it. What they're mostly going to scare is students away from the school. And that doesn't make me any happier.

(also, for you)

I saw. It's beautiful. Thank you.

[identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 05:32 am (UTC)(link)
No kidding it's not the way to do it! You can't run a university by destroying it! I guess what put that cynical reply into my head was New York State's announcement that it was going to close half its state parks as a way of saving money, when the state's expenditures on parks is a pittance anyway, so it's hardly like closing them will save much money. It puts people into a panic and has a feel of blackmail to it, to my mind. .... And what's happening at Brandeis sounds similar. But yeah: it's not a good strategy, and it **will** alienate prospective students. No one wants to board a sinking ship.

I hope they change their plan.

(And thanks! --and sorry for the prompt--paint me overeager...)

[identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
We must all look like we are doing *something* to save money, when in fact, we save no money at all, it just flows upward a little faster and more things of real value are lost.

[identity profile] ap-aelfwine.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'm delighted that the movie was good, but very sorry about the persistent imbecility of the administration at your alma mater.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
I'm delighted that the movie was good, but very sorry about the persistent imbecility of the administration at your alma mater.

I wanted its president out a year ago and I want him out even faster now. And they are looking (http://media.www.thejusticeonline.com/media/storage/paper573/news/2009/09/22/News/University.President.Jehuda.Reinharz.Resigns-3783861.shtml) for a replacement by June 2011 at the latest, but seriously, I'm crossing my fingers for next week.

[identity profile] ap-aelfwine.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 09:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Sounds as if he can't leave soon enough, yes.

[identity profile] steepholm.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 08:12 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds as if the admin at Brandeis are giving a masterclass in holding on to non-existent fish themselves. Darn. It's a familiar story on this side of the Atlantic, but I'm sorry to hear of similar things happening there.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds as if the admin at Brandeis are giving a masterclass in holding on to non-existent fish themselves.

I would so prefer my university to be run by Jacques Tati.

It's a familiar story on this side of the Atlantic, but I'm sorry to hear of similar things happening there.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with it? Other than writing massively displeased letters, which is my current plan?

[identity profile] debka-notion.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 01:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm confused as to how a university that is significantly known for its Judaic Studies department is thinking about cutting parts of that department. Also, it isn't like there's a great abundance of Yiddish classes as it is- when I was there, in order to minor in Yiddish, I think at least one independent study was necessary just to fulfill the requirements... This didn't work with trying to cut classics, so now why are they trying it with other things?

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
I'm confused as to how a university that is significantly known for its Judaic Studies department is thinking about cutting parts of that department.

One would think!

Also, it isn't like there's a great abundance of Yiddish classes as it is- when I was there, in order to minor in Yiddish, I think at least one independent study was necessary just to fulfill the requirements...

I hadn't known that. I suppose that makes the program look negligible to the administration, rather than woefully unsupported. Here beginneth the lesson in wrong conclusions.
zdenka: A woman touching open books, with loose pages blowing around her (librarian)

[personal profile] zdenka 2010-02-24 02:30 pm (UTC)(link)
No, Brandeis. You should not do this thing. :-(

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
No, Brandeis. You should not do this thing.

I can't even figure out why it's under discussion. I understand not having funds; I don't understand their priorities.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
Dislike.

Agree.

[identity profile] strange-selkie.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)
*backs up* WHAT?

They didn't learn from the Rose/the classics department/any of that? The National Archive of Jewish Film is AT Brandeis. *sigh*

At least, if it's any comfort, Susan and her gf have met Tirian.

It didn't go well for Tirian.

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
They didn't learn from the Rose/the classics department/any of that?

Learning curve of cabbage! I have no explanation!

It didn't go well for Tirian.

I look forward to learning precisely to what degree.

[identity profile] rax.livejournal.com 2010-02-24 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
This definitely makes me less excited about the PhD application I am still waiting for a response from Brandeis on. I hope they minimize their cuts and get things stable...

[identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com 2010-02-25 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
I hope they minimize their cuts and get things stable...

I hope so, too. (In addition to the fact that I do not want to see you accepted into a program that suddenly ceases to exist!) I am not happy about this situation.