Forman backtracks on student involvement

Evan Mah, Arianna Skibell and Leon Kohl continue their excellent reporting on the cuts and their institutional meaning. He takes us back in time to 2010, when Forman was the newly appointed Dean of Undergraduates at Rice University. (Thinking that was fast? Even Forman admitted he doesn’t know Emory all that well.) At the time, Rice supported the creation of a student-run Budget Planning Committee, which would report to the dean and the financial officers on student interests and ways to protect vital programs.

In fact, Forman now claims he “came under some criticism for allowing the students [at Rice] too large a role in those budget cuts.”

Two recession- and educational-turmoil-addled years later, at Emory, does he still believe students should have a say in the fate of their college (as is the case at Rice, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Chicago, Stanford and many other institutions)? Forman says yes, but suggests Emory is particularly difficult because of the structure of the college (?) or the resources available to student leaders.

Emory has 5 student-faculty committees, including a Curriculum Committee. None of them, however, have any official standing with the College Dean, and none were contacted in regard to the cuts. Since being interviewed by Mah, Forman has promised to work harder on strengthening communication, while implying the process will have little or no bearing on the current run of department closures.

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