LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Faculty in English Department concerned by ongoing CHSBS budget cuts



In your recent print article, “Faculty concerned due to budget cuts, immigration ban and future of research,” you misquoted my colleague Tracy Collins. You claimed she said the English Department’s budget is now only just less than 10 percent higher than it was a decade ago. She actually said the English Department’s current budget is less than one percent higher than it was a decade ago.

I’m in part sympathetic to your confusion. 

How could the English Department budget presently be less than one percent higher than it was 10 years ago?

But that is the plain and simple fact. 

In 2007-2008, Central Michigan University's English Department had an operating budget of $5,277,951. In 2016-2017, the English Department has an operating budget of $5,324,898 — an increase of 0.9 percent. That’s a staggeringly small increase over a decade. This, when English is almost without exception, every year, the highest revenue-generating department in the College of Humanities & Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Let’s remember that the English Department is responsible for teaching composition to all CMU students. It also provides the student community with many of the valuable writing intensive courses they need to graduate. Additionally, it serves its own majors, minors, graduate students and certificate-earners.

I think it’s very clear why many of us in English are “concerned due to budget cuts,” as you say. We feel our budget should be increasing by double-digits — not potentially down by the same. 


Matthew Roberson

Professor of English at Central Michigan University