Emotions Run High at Southwestern

Dozens of jobs and hundreds of classes could be cut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Emotions ran high at Southwestern College as dozens of jobs and hundreds of classes were put on the chopping block.

    Students and faculty let the board of trustees know exactly how they felt on Wednesday night.

    "Your legacy is going to be the biggest cuts in Southwestern College history, shame on you," said one teacher.

    Board members say the state's economic woes have put the school in a budget crisis and they need to lay off dozens of teachers and drop hundreds of classes.

    "It's going to force me to look for other means of employment and that will be really difficult considering how the economy is right now," English teacher Jodi Baker said.

    Many students are worried that the class cuts would prevent them from graduating or transferring to a four year college.

    "It's kind of sad because I just quit my job to go to school full time and now I don't know what's going to happen next semester," student Jackie Gutierrez said.

    Others say the board could save jobs and classes with temporary pay cuts, or dipping into the school's emergency reserves.  But school President Raj K. Chopra said the only feasible solution is to cut classes.

    "They talk about all these solutions, but the practical reality of doing it, they're missing in action," Chopra said.

    The cuts will affect the spring and summer semesters.