Friday, February 6, 2009

What No Physics???

Mike and I moved to Moscow, ID so he could attend the University of Idaho and study Physics. Why did we choose Idaho? Well, part of it had to do with finding somewhere with a lower cost of living so Mike wouldn’t have to work, part of it was because we both kinda wanted out of the suburbs, part of it was because we wanted a slower pace of life and less stress, and then when we actually came to visit the campus we just fell in love. Did Mike seriously evaluate the physics program, well, a little bit. He compared it to a few different schools that we looked at and felt like this was the best one. Did we compare the U of I to all other schools, no.

We had thought, with the economy tanking, that we were safe here in our little student world (well, besides our 401K’s being decimated like everyone else’s, that is). Turns out we were wrong, the University is struggling too. So, they decided they needed to cut or consolidate programs. They released the first round of suggestions and sure enough the BS and BA in Physics are included…

So my question is, who heard of school without a Physics Program??? They are planning to keep the PhD program, but not the Bachelor’s degrees, how does that work? I just don’t get it at all?? Is that a question we should have asked when we were evaluating whether or not to come here, “So, will the University be cutting out the Physics program in the next couple of years?” That thought never even occurred to us.

We won't know until April what the final decisions are and even if they do cut the program, it will be phased out so Mike will still be able to finish his B.S. But it is still really frustrating. Will professors be looking for other positions since they know their jobs will be ending soon? If they are looking for other positions, will they really be giving their current classes their full attention?

On the upside, they are definitely keeping the PhD program. So that will still be an option for Mike after he gets his B.S. assuming they don't decide to cut the PhD program later. Which, I don't see why they would do as the Physic's program brings in grant and research money.