Mudd, CIT Funds Cut In Wake of Financial Difficulties
by Faith Richards

When students enter the doors of Mudd, they rarely think of the amount of money that is needed to meet the operating costs of a college library. However, a significant portion of Oberlin’s annual budget is needed to maintain the services that the library provides to the students and professors of the College. With a high campus awareness of budget cuts affecting the Multicultural Resource Center and Athletics Department, the fact that all areas of the College are being asked to reduce their operating budgets for the 2002-2003 year can be overlooked.
When budget cuts were announced at a recent meeting of administrators, faculty and staff, the library and the Center for Information Technology were informed that together they needed to reduce their budgets significantly. According to this week’s issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, which covered Oberlin’s extensive budget deficit, the CIT and Mudd will have to reduce operating costs by $250,000 next year. Although Mudd and the CIT have separate budgets, they must determine together how much money can be cut from each budget to reach the administrative goal for their budget reduction.
Ray English, the director of libraries on Oberlin campus, was quick to explain that this reduction in the libraries’ budget will not affect the resources that it provides. He said that he is “hopeful that we will be able to meet the targets without any significant reduction in the services the library offers.” The largest portion of the libraries’ budget goes to pay both the professional and student staff, while the second largest portion is allotted to upkeep information resources: books, journals and electronic licenses for online databases and periodicals. English was very positive in his outlook on the budget cut, saying that changes would be made in the most efficient way possible so that students would not really be affected. The library is lucky in one way with its budget: it has endowment funds that can be used to support the operating budget and reduce the effect of the administrative reduction.
The CIT is not quite so lucky. John Bucher, director of the CIT said that with the budget cuts, the CIT will not be providing as many services to students as it did this year. Although he was unable to offer any specific information about which areas of the CIT will be affected by the reduction in costs, he did say that there will be some visible reduction in services. The CIT does want to minimize the impact that its budget cuts will have on the students, but will not be able to completely maintain its current level of service.
Students feelings about the budget cuts are mixed. “I think that there are many more places that could use cutting back,” sophomore Teo Gibson said.
However, other students are concerned that budget cuts may have an effect the overall character of the library. “I think that it’s stupid that they have to cut the library budget. It’s a wonderful place because not only is it a repository of governmental documents and countless volumes of literature, it’s also a building with great social opportunity,” first-year Kipp Williams said.

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