The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVI, Issue 6
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
Oct. 6, 2000

Page OneGrain & ChaffObituariesLetters to the ChronicleArchivesFeedbackWeekly Bulletin

Page OneGrain & ChaffObituariesLetters to the ChronicleArchivesFeedbackWeekly Bulletin






Letters to the Chronicle

Professor blasts fee-for-services policies

I recently called Academic Instructional Media Services (AIMS) hoping to arrange to make a couple of teaching videos for one of my courses. This is something that I have done quite a few times in the past and I have always been very satisfied with the response from the campus's audio-visual support staff.

Evidently, things have changed. I was amazed to receive an e-mail from the director of AIMS which stated that the videos would only be made if I pay, or someone pays on my behalf, $230 for each hour of filming, minimum two hours.

In a parallel context, last year Parking Services informed Geosciences that we would have to pay $750 ($125 each) to park our five vans in their designated spaces at the back of the department. These are state vehicles used for fieldwork with students.

I am profoundly disgusted by these policies. I do not blame the directors of AIMS or Parking Services, but whoever it is in the administration who has decided that "support services" means making money out of academic departments. Our departmental budget is always lean and we try to spend it in a cost-effective way that will most benefit teaching and scholarship. If I were able to lavish $460 on making two short video films, which I am not, the money would come out of a very small budget that is intended to support a wide variety of teaching activities. At the departmental level our choice is simple: either we pay up and squander a meager budget or we do without the service in question. Either way, the students lose out: the cost of attending UMass is driven up by these measures, which tend to bureaucratize the system.

I am a member of a University administrative committee which meets once a month for an hour in an upstairs room of the University Club. I will be at the October meeting, but perhaps my fees should be $230 for attending and $125 for parking my car in Lot 62.

professor of Geography
Department of Geosciences

Thanks to planter contest participants

On behalf of the Campus Beautification Committee (CBC) and the greater University community, we wish to thank and recognize the over 75 individuals who participated in the "Adopt a Planter" program this past summer. We have greatly enjoyed your creative contributions to the campus through your planters. We look forward to seeing your new creations next summer as the program enters its second year.

A thank you also to the members of the CBC who facilitated the program or provided assistance. Without your efforts, this program would not have been possible.

Campus Beautification Committee

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