Dear CHE administrators,
You are welcome to share my comments with others at the
University of Minnesota. You appear to have any number of
committees with regards to the restructuring process, and are best
suited for knowing who might benefit from my comments.
First of all, I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota, College
of Home Economics, 1978, with a degree in Home Economics
Education. I have my graduate degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.) in Human
Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University. My
mother also graduated from U of M-CHE in 1952, in Home
As an individual working in the field of family and consumer
sciences I have always been proud to be a graduate of such a good
program, one that is well recognized for the preparation given to
students. I feel the university is not only making a mistake in closing
the College of Human Ecology, but one that will have a negative
impact on the field in general. You state in your press releases that
the holistic approach will be continued. My response is, "no, it
won't". People need time and interaction with each other to keep
the holistic, life span approach of the field in the forefront of their
research and teaching agendas. Otherwise, we are simply experts
in our own little slice, but don't remember the whole.
It is tragic that programs serving individuals and families, focusing
on healthy life styles and optimal family functioning are the ones that
administrators first consider for closure. It's also not coincidental
that these programs have higher numbers of female students in the
As an alum, who has made donations to CHE student scholarships
in the past, I will be giving my donations to other universities in the
future, and will encourage my mother also to reconsider any gifts to
U of M. Although my donations have not been substantial, as we
have not had a raise of ANY type at my university in 4 years, every
little bit does count when it comes to support of education.
In closing, I am deeply disappointed in the University of Minnesota. I
don't care a bit about how the Gophers do in any sports activity, but
I do care about education.
Cynthia J. Schmiege, Ph.D.