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Asian studies master’s admissions suspended, 7 acceptances rescinded

Cal State Long Beach has suspended fall admission to the university’s Asian studies master’s program.

Vice Provost Cecile Lindsay sent emails to seven students who had already been accepted to the program, telling them their admission was being rescinded. The email also said they could apply to another master’s program or be refunded their application fee.

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Gerry Riposa said the university is only suspending admission, but not the program.
“The students who are currently in the program will continue with their courses, theses and exams, and continue moving toward graduation,” Riposa said.

According to John Tsuchinda, the department chair of Asian and Asian American studies, the Asian studies program will have about 17 continuing students next semester.

“It is a big decision in anyone’s career and life to apply for a graduate program and be admitted, and the university sends this letter abruptly saying ‘we have to save money and so we have to rescind your admission,'” Tsuchida said. “I think it can be very unfair for the students to get such short notice.”
Risposa said he does not see this as permanent or a step towards permanent discontinuance.

“We have asked the department to take a good look at their graduate curriculum and to do some modification and some tightening within the curriculum,” Riposa said. “If they do so, there’s a good possibility that this will be a nine-month suspension.”

The officers from the Asian Studies Graduate Society (ASGS) wrote a letter addressed to President F. King Alexander, Provost Donald Para, Lindsay, Riposa and associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Mark Wiley to express their concerns with the suspension.

In the letter, the students ask the administration to confirm what Riposa said about currently enrolled students being able to complete their degrees in the program. They also want to be assured that students will be admitted in the master’s program for the fall 2013 semester and to receive assurance that the suspension is only temporary.

“All we’re doing is we’re asking President Alexander, Provost Para and Vice Provost Lindsay to give us a guarantee in writing that these promises by the Dean [Riposa] will be followed through on, and if they’re not going to do that then we’re worried because Provost Para set out a number of procedures that would happen when they applied the budget cuts,” Teresa Zimmerman-Liu, ASGS treasurer, said. “And they didn’t apply those procedures in this case.”

Riposa is resigning July 1, so ASGS wrote the administration to confirm that his claims were true.

In the letter, ASGS also said that the Asian ethnicity is often stereotyped as a “model minority” that might be perceived as an easy target to bear the brunt of unpleasant budget cuts. The letter also said that the suspension was undertaken with extreme disrespect to the professors and students in the department.

“I’m not disputing the university’s decision to scale down any programs or eliminate any programs, due to extraordinary fiscal exigency, but I think the university has an obligation to explain why certain actions are being taken,” Tsuchida said.
 

3 Comments

  1. “model minority” I think not. The people in the AAS dept are the Asian slackers who are sandbagging as many classes as possible. 80% of them are ABC’s and the other 20% are international students… Trust me, I was a student I know.

  2. Anonymous

    Ethnic studies programs at our school have a LOT of problems…This major is really no exception.
    I took a couple of classes in it and the corruption levels were extremely high. There were students having other people edit their thesis and comprehensive exams (because of their poor English–but these are MA students not undergrads!) There were many double numbered courses where grad students had about the same level of work as undergraduates. They let a LOT of things slide in terms of student cheating, etc. I even told an instructor that another student was cheating, but they did nothing about it. There was one person who was taking the placement test for Chinese and they were allowed to see the textbook when taking the exam.. (give me a break!). They would do a lot of things to keep their numbers in classes up higher than they actually were, like have several students be “enrolled” but not even attend classes…. I’m surprised they didn’t just cut the whole MA program out. It has a lot of serious issues..

  3. Anonymous

    That was a very cruel thing to do for students who were hoping to follow their dreams and now they are tarnished due to money money and money. Rather than giving administrators more money, spend the money on keeping these programs alive. I hope those students file a complaint.

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