Alumnus attempts to save dissolving department
The potential dissolution of the Department of Applied Sciences has graduate students and alumni worried about their futures and what the measure could mean for the value of their hard work towards degrees.
After sending letters to both Chancellor Joel Anderson and Provost Zulma Toro-Ramos, UALR doctoral alumnus M. Mert SU has not received a reply. His letter included a petition with of over forty signatures. It has been three months since he made the inquiry.
An interview with Ph.D. Mert SU illuminated some of the pressing questions that he and all those affected by the department’s dissolution are currently asking. The main concern he expressed is whether his “degree will be worthless with no existing department to back it.”
If a potential employer were to check into his degree, it could raise a red flag if he or she discovered that the department no longer exist.
“The program would possibly dissolve and be absorbed by the newly forming College of Science, Letters, and Arts,” Mert SU said. He also added that he wouldn’t be very pleased by the transition.
“The department already runs extremely well as it is. There is never a problem with collaboration across the department.” It is confusing to those who call the Applied Science their home department.”
Not only does the Department of Applied Science serve to educate and train Ph.D. students, it also generates a great deal of research money. While he was a student at UALR, Mert SU said that he participated in several large research projects, including a half million dollar project commissioned by NASA and another $750,000 project in the field of nanotechnology.
“I graduated from the university in Turkey, and I have never seen such a thing,” said Mert SU. “I got my Ph.D. from the Department of Applied Science. What’s going to happen to the value of my degree? What is my degree worth if there exists no department to back it?”
This also raises concerns and unanswered questions for current and prospective students. What will happen to those students who are currently dedicating their lives to earning a degree through the Applied Science graduate program?