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November 18, 2010

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Volume 67 Number 11

Text of November 18, 2010

  • With the states projected budget shortfall for 2012-13 soaring by the month, higher education institutions across Texas are getting to be experts in cutting the fat o their expenditures. is week it was announced that be-yond the 10 to 15 percent cuts already requested by the UT System, another slice of up to 10 percent will have to be pared from budgets like the one at UTPA over the next two scal years.

    As the amount of money to work with gets smaller and smaller, its no won-der programs are shu ing to hold onto what they can. However the Graduate Studies Department is optimistic about the 57 masters, three doctoral and two co-operative doctoral degrees housed within the seven colleges.

    e hope is that as the university looks for things to cut, grad school will not be a target. But every program is go-ing to have to provide a justi cation for what it produces in the way of grads and grants. e race is on for e ciency.

    Currently the state is looking at pro-grams that dont meet the threshold or are low-producing, said Cynthia Brown, vice provost for Graduate Studies.

    e best way for programs to sur-vive is to be relevant and productive, meaning that departments that respond to the needs of the American workplace and Valley community will be in good shape, Brown continued.

    Currently no plans have been made to cut any graduate programs but there are al-ternate options such as folding one program into another if the two are related. Another is a streamlining idea which would recom-mend cutting back on electives o ered per semester.

    We may look into o ering fewer op-tions for graduates as far as electives go, Brown said. Every semester students might not have as many o ered as the year before.

    One thing is for certain: brand-new programs will likely not be touched dur-ing the winnowing process, Brown con-tinued. A beginning operation is given time to develop, because an entering graduate takes an average of two years to complete and it will take a few more years to tell the relevance and productivity of the program in terms of jobs gained and services provided by grads.

    Such nascent programs recently imple-mented on campus include experimental psychology, engineering management, and physicians assistant studies.

    e recent recession has a ected people nationwide, including job-hunt-ing college grads.

    According to a survey by the Na-tional Association of Colleges and Em-

    ployers, the number of 2010 U.S col-lege graduates who had already landed jobs upon graduation rose to 24 percent this past spring, compared with 20 per-cent last year.

    ere also seems to be an extreme note of pragmatism in the search. Graduates are strolling into the Graduate Studies o ce and are not attracted to challenging career opportunities, but instead start by asking about dollar gures, says graduate recruiter Sergio Palacios.

    Grads are looking for elds that have not su ered as much during the down-turn, and ones that o er the most lucra-tive opportunities. At the forefront of the group of programs are occupations in the health sciences, says Brown. Accord-ing to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, health care is a eld where signi cant growth is being tracked. Jobs are expected to increase by 20 percent, amounting to 35,100 new positions, by 2018.

    For now, the graduate world at UTPA might be able to avoid being a major casualty of the next round of

    chops, especially if individual programs can show they are productive and not low-performing. Still, there will de nite-

    ly be some tweaks made to try and save money and be more e cient.

    ere is always a need for restructur-

    ing or an increase in skills for the work-place because of the changing nature of jobs, Brown said.

    THE PAN AMERICANVolume 67, No. 11 November 18, 2010

    Graduate school expects to avoid cuts

    Page 2 - Big business might have packed their bags, but they never left

    Page 3 - Jobs after graduation becoming scarce

    Page 11 - Holiday gift guide Page 14 - Q&A with volleyball player Rebecca Toddy

    Tammy Ayala / THE PAN AMERICAN

    GRADUATE SHUFFLE - Ubaldo Delgado and Amanda Luevand listen to UTSA presenters at a Graduate studies fair Tuesday evening at Renaissance Casa De Palmas in McAllen.

    By Roxann GarciaThe Pan American

    Student sharesborder woes

    Current studentstrives for excellence

    Get over it, Potter-heads

    SAMS ayudando a la comunidad de bajos


    Broncs celebrateSenior Night at nal

    volleyball game

    Graphic by Kevin Stitch

  • Not too long ago, if one thought about drug wars, car-tels, or vio-lence, one p o n d e r e d C o l o m -bia. Today, if I think of any of these words, I think home.

    About a month ago I was driving home to Mat-amoros with my dad and I asked him how were things back at home. He re-sponded, ings are alright, pretty calm they just have this thing now where they throw grenades at govern-ment buildings.

    Say what? ings are alright?For those of you who dont believe

    it yet, things ARE messed up all over the place in Mexico when it comes to safety, and its obviously caused by the drug war that has been going on for a few years now. ings have gotten way worse in recent months.

    And Im not going to go into detail, and am I not about to touch anything drug war-related, take sides, or discuss possible solutions to the current problem. So this is the only way I can describe the way I feel when I think of the situation back at home. ings are messed up.

    After having a conversation about all these matters with a close friend, I caught myself dis-appointedly saying, Mexico sucks, to my roommate as I entered the apart-ment. She thought there had been a soccer game in which the national team had done bad-ly. I wouldve never pronounced those two words together otherwise. But I did, and its sad.

    Knowing about people killed just adds to the depres-sionthat is, when numbers can be counted. e details are passed largely by word of mouth, and one is relieved to nd

    out that the latest casualty was not a loved one. Knock on wood.

    Most of us think twice now about going back home during the weekend like we used to, or taking advantage of breaks such as anksgiving to spend time with family.

    e violence has also forced many peo-ple in small towns to get out of their homes to move to a safer place. Cities where violence has increased dramatically (speci -cally border ones) are declining economi-cally because there is no commerce or tour-ism, and nobody is interested in investing in business located in areas of con ict. Also, classes have been can-celled lately to keep students from having to leave their houses,

    so the violence will also have an impact in education.

    But life has to go on. Even though knowing that most of my family lives in

    areas of stress is in the back of my head throughout each day, I know that both for me and for them life goes on. I have goals to accomplish and they have things they have to take care of no matter what.

    We cant sit and wait for the hard times to pass, we have to keep on going with our lives.

    My dads example is just one way inhabitants in these places cope with the situation. A couple of days ago I saw a group on Facebook (one of those people like nonstop) that read in Spanish, Mom, Im leaving. Are you wearing your bulletproof vest? Yes! Well, have a good day. As people get used to hearing gunshots any time of the day, they are doing their best to make the best out of the worst.

    I guess its human nature to hope for the best and to expect things to get better some time soon or eventually, so life can go back to normal, if there is such a thing.

    All I know is that things cant keep being like this, or at least I hope they can get better soon. People who come from the war zone have to eventually regain pride in their hometown and con dence in the security of the place they call home.

    November 18, 20102

    Home? Things are messed up

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    The Pan American is the of cial student newspaper of The University of Texas-Pan American. Views presented are those of the writers and do not necessarily re ect those of the paper or university.

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