Georgetown University's faculty senate voted unanimously yesterday to "strongly urge" the university board of directors to rescind plans to restructure the graduate school and scrap eight graduate programs, including physics, accounting and six foreign languages.
"The feeling was so strong on this issue, I have never seen anything like it in our senate," Valerie A. Earle, president of the 75-member senate, said after the vote.
"There was strong and angry language about what the plan would do to education," Earle said.
The resolution criticizes the university administration for drafting a sweeping reorganization plan without consulting key faculty committees or Georgetown students.
The senate also said the university failed to allow the affected departments to review and comment on the plan before it was submitted to the board of directors, which approved the plan last Friday.
"No first-class university does this kind of stuff," said Earle, a professor of government." . . . It seems to me out of character with Georgetown, where due process and regard for procedure has been very high."
In announcing the plan Wednesday, the Rev. J. Donald Freeze, university provost, stressed that the administration had consulted with five faculty representatives in drawing up the plan.
The proposal would suspend eight programs, while identifying nine others as "designated for excellence" and eligible for increased funding.
But the senate resolution, introduced by George Chapman, a professor of biology, said that faculty members were not informed that the administration's review would include plans to possibly eliminate various specialties.
Yesterday's vote was 36 to 0, with four members abstaining, out of the total of 60 voting members, Earle said. The senate members are elected by the 300-member Georgetown faculty.
Georgetown administration officials, who had said they expected strong reaction from the faculty, were not available for comment last night.
Many of the faculty who voted yesterday were from departments whose graduate programs were scheduled for elimination. But the vote also included strong support from the chemistry department, which is designated for "excellence." Earle said, "Chemistry people said they couldn't survive without the other sciences" like physics, being maintained.
"It seems to us simply dreadful. A really good university does not cut off its sciences and doesn't cut off Russian language, especially at this time in our history, politically," Earle said.