WSU’s final budget for 2009-10, released this week, contains good news about our Sport Management Program:

“WSU will maintain and continue the program and major. The department will remain in the College of Education while a review is conducted regarding its permanent academic home.”

As I mentioned in recent college e-mail, sport management faculty will be discussing with the College of Business whether the program would be a good fit there. Meanwhile, the College of Education will certify new sport management undergraduate majors in June and will also offer the 200-level prerequisite courses for that major in the fall 2009.  Current graduate and undergraduate students, as well as the newly certified undergraduate students, will complete their degrees in the College of Education.

We appreciate all of the emails and other communications that we  received regarding the possible discontinuation of the program, as well as your ongoing support of the sport management faculty, program and students.

Our final budget cut will be $808,091, or approximately 11 percent of our 2009 budget. Other program reductions remain as I explained in my earlier column, posted below.

May 1, 2009

Dean Judy Nichols MitchellBy Judy Nichols Mitchell
Dean, WSU College of Education

As many of you know, Washington State University has released its preliminary budget plan in response to a $54.2 million reduction in state funding for 2009-2011, or $27 million per year. I’m writing to let you know how our college is affected.

Before I get to the figures, I should remind you that the budget will not be finalized until June 1. The university will take feedback on the plan throughout May. For more information, or to submit a comment or suggestion, please click here.

For College of Education programs, there will be a reduction of $1 million in state funding. That figure represents a 13.8 percent decrease in our annual budget. Such a deep cut means some painful decisions had to be made, in part because our college is more reliant on state funding than many other WSU units.

Given our desire to protect academic opportunities and quality, our first cutbacks were in the administrative area. The annual budget for the dean’s office will be cut $205,000, which impacts communications, recruitment, community collaboration and other services.

Unfortunately, we could not avoid program cuts. I’m sorry to report that we will discontinue the Sport Management Program, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students already enrolled will be allowed to complete their course of studies, but no new students will be admitted. This decision was based on our belief that other programs are more central to the mission of the college. It is in no way a criticism of the high-quality Sport Management faculty and their enthusiastic students.

We will also reduce the number of students we accept in the secondary and elementary teacher preparation programs. From a former high of 150 students annually, enrollment will drop to 80 in each of the two programs. We also will reduce the number of graduate assistantships we offer, cut back on travel, reduce the number of courses we offer each semester in all our programs, and consolidate our secondary certification and masters in teaching programs. Additionally, the equivalent of 16 full-time faculty and staff positions will be discontinued, affecting 20 employees.

Yes, our fiscal belt is uncomfortably tight. But with your encouragement and support, we will continue our progress, and we will thrive. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the budget, or our work.