Students, Staff Feel Budget Pinch
Last year's Faculty of Arts and Sciences budget cut may have come from the top, but these days it seems to be trickling down to the bottom.
Belt tightening--up to 6.5 percent in all FAS departments, including the College--was announced in the spring. This fall, students may notice a few changes.
The Office of Career Services (OCS) is asking students to pay $5 for many books, including the popular Harvard Guide to Grants and Fellowships and $3 a piece for their smaller publications. In past years, all of these publications were available free of charge.
The student fee "covers the printer's costs but doesn't have anything to do with the cost of producing the book," said OCS Director Martha P. Leape.
By charging students a recovery fee for the smaller OCS publications, the office can ensure the continuation of its other services, including free distribution of its major publication, the Harvard Guide to Careers, Leap said.
Academic departments are also beginning to collect recovery fees for publications. The Government Department is charging $4 for junior tutorial packets to help defray the cost of copying. These packets, too, were free last fall.
"The department managed to have the cut not affect students other than to pay for their junior tutorial packets," said Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies Jane T.Gray.
The junior tutorial packets cost the department $1000 each semester, Gray said. Although students last semester were a little surprised at the change, no one has complained so far this fall, she said.
Officials at OCS and at the Government Department said that students who do not wish to pay for the publications will not be denied access to the information. Copies of the OCS publications are available in house libraries and the OCS office, and copies of the junior tutorial packet can be read in the Government tutorial office lounge.
Even before the most recent faculty budget cut, many Harvard departments had been charging fees for various services. Several departments said they have tried to reduce administrative costs rather than raise these rates in the face of further cutbacks.
"We have always charged a very nominal fund to cover printing costs for the Study Strategy publications," said Anne L. Couch, Assistant director of the Bureau of Study Counsel.
Couch said that although her office has been able to absorb the costs in ways which will not affect students, she is uncertain that the bureau will be able to continue that policy if asked to accept further cuts.
Other departments have not yet asked students to pay for copying costs, but have tried to absorb the budget cut in other ways.
The Physics Department diverted departmental endowment funds that were intended for research, according to Margaret E. Law, head tutor of the department and director of the Physics Lab.
"We've asked people to be careful about how much they copy," Law said. "We haven't passed [the budget cuts] on to the students at all."
The Athletic Department will not let budget cuts affect programs, according to Athletic Director William J. Cleary, '56. Instead, Cleary said, the department is looking into "taking vans instead of buses--doing a lot of little things like that."
"Academic life is not immune to what's going on in the business life. It's hitting all of us." Cleary added