We wrote a few days back - “UC Berkeley is Running out of Money. Here is What They Plan to Do.” Looks like everything is going according to the plan. The university plans to choose Option 2 (‘realignment’) to get rid of chemistry department or rather its independent and legendary ‘college of chemistry’.
Daily California reports -
The campus is considering dissolving the College of Chemistry and integrating it into another college as a cost-cutting measure.
The dissolution of the college is one of many options the administration is considering as the campus faces a growing and unsustainable deficit, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.
Science journal add further -
The University of California (UC), Berkeley, is considering disbanding the universitys College of Chemistry to help cope with a cash crunch at one of the countrys most prominent public universities. According to an article in todays Daily Californian, the universitys flagship campus is $150 million in debt, and faced with flat income from tuition and rising costs. Though no decisions have been made, closing the College of Chemistry and absorbing its departments into other university colleges is just one of the many plans being considered to save money.
Derek Lowe comments -
Berkeleys chemistry department is basically legendary, one of a select group of chemistry departments in the country that can legitimately lay claim to that adjective. Fundamental discoveries, great professors, Nobel Prizes, influential graduates theyre all in evidence, and how. Breaking up the department would seem to have no chance at all of improving it, and runs (youd have to think) a very real risk of doing the opposite. Its true that the Cal administration doesnt seem to be talking about that end of things at all just the financials but whatever cost savings might be realized will have to be weighed against the damage that will be done.
This is tragic, but not unexpected. Who needs chemistry, when we can have apps, virtual reality and Nobel peace prizes? :)