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HARVARD has decided to trim its spending. And students, totally unrepresented in the budget process, risk bearing the brunt of the fiscal nips and tucks.
The university may boast the largest academic endowment in the nation, but, citing short-term deficits, administration officials are promising spending cuts before the year is out. Acting Dean of the Faculty Henry Rosovsky announced this month that he intends to reduce Faculty costs--including finances for the College, academic departments, libraries and undergraduate dorms, among others things--by up to 6 percent.
Although most people may like to leave the University's financial wizardry to money managers and pencil pushers, with student services on the line, it's time for students to prick up their ears.
ROSOVSKY and his staff have said it is too early to predict where cuts will fall and how they will affect undergrads. Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 has promised that essential teaching, security and maintenance will not be squeezed by the upcoming crunch. But with liberal definitions and wide administration powers for budget cuts, students must be wary of any process where they are not included. From shuttle bus service to library hours to student center appropriations, the small reductions can mean a large impact for undergraduate and graduate concerns.
We anxiously await administration budget proposals and call for an open and inclusive process:
. The College and Graduate School should consult student representatives about cuts that may affect undergraduate or graduate services.
. Given the short-term and immediate impact of such decisions, students should be publicly informed about these cuts and how they have been chosen.
In a time when fundraising priorities and budget appraisals will dramatically shape the future of student life at Harvard, increased student participation in these processes is essential.
For $20,000 a year, we deserve it.
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