By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
First, Los Angeles city schools stop buying textbooks for their students. Now, Santa Monica City College is throwing books away. Architecture instructors at the college-by-the-sea are up in arms over the decision to dismantle the Richard Creadick library, 600 architecture books and publications named after the late SMCC teacher whose wife donated the bulk of the collection.
"Those books were precious. A lot of those books you can’t get any longer," part-time instructor Eugene Flores said. "The students were very much in an uproar at the time."
Katharine Muller, dean of external programs, said many of the books were outdated and had to go; others are in storage pending possible addition to the main college library next year. Underlying the book controversy is a battle over the future of the college’s architecture program. Authorities plan to shift the curriculum from a two-year vocational emphasis to a university-transfer mode, stressing preparation for Cal Poly and Berkeley. "The enrollment in the architecture program has been dropping for years," Muller said. "I expect the curriculum shift to strengthen the ability of students who are transferring to perform well in university."
Part-time instructors, many of whom have battled administration for years over cutbacks, will be ousted in the process. Next semester, the instructors are being required to reapply for positions they have held for more than 20 years.
"They will lose a lot of teachers who are qualified practitioners in the field," said instructor Debbie Tataranowicz. Tataranowicz said the curriculum shift is not for the students but for the egos of the empire builders who are increasingly taking over the city college.
"It is becoming Santa Monica Corporation. Everything is about money and numbers, and education is not what they are about anymore," she fumed. "Santa Monica College has become a slave ship for some administrators and faculty, particularly the part-timers, to the detriment of the students."—Christine Pelisek
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