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Thursday, April 18, 2024

For some UF students, even the routine task of receiving a syllabus on the first day of class has already been complicated by universitywide budget cuts.

The department of political science cannot afford to supply copies of course syllabi, said political science associate professor Daniel Smith, who teaches a state and local government course and a graduate seminar.

Students must access their course Web site for a syllabus and print one out if they want a hard copy.

BIt?s a terrible hindrance to communicating with my students,C Smith said.

Smith said UF?s department of political science received a ,24,000 cut in its budget.

At a Board of Trustees meeting in June, UF President Bernie Machen announced that UF would need to cut its budget by ,20 to ,30 million to stay out of the red. Recently, those numbers have increased to ,30 million to ,34 million.

Smith said Target Copy has helped the situation by supplying free syllabi for the department if the documents are four pages or less.The budget cut?s impact has also been felt in other areas of the department.

Funds for faculty travel to conferences were reduced, and the department?s annual spring banquet was cut, he said.

Smith also said the faculty is no longer returning long distance phone calls because of the cost, which makes it hard to reach students who predominantly use their cell phones, he said.

UF senior Clint Hall said he received tangible syllabi for two courses he?s taking with Richard Nolan, a political science lecturer.

The rest of his course outlines were online, including those for courses outside of his major, he said.

Hall said the lack of a hard copy didn?t bother him.

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BObviously, the professors are aware of the cut, and I think they?re doing a good job of shielding students from most of it,C he said.

Hall said budget cuts have had a more serious impact on his education in the past. He said he switched majors from philosophy to political science after budget cuts in 2006 left the former department in Bcomplete disarray,C though he didn?t offer any specifics.

UF spokesman Steve Orlando said he hadn?t heard of UF?s administration specifically targeting syllabi or photocopying, though each department was encouraged to cut costs in any way possible.

Online syllabi are easily accessible and conserve both money and paper, he added.

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