Anthropology department cuts `vicious rumor’

Tomy Hillers

A claim that the anthropology department will be cut to ease budget constraints is nothing more than “a vicious rumor,” department officials said.

Shu-min Huang, anthropology department chairman, said he doesn’t know where the rumor began, but “a very vicious person started it.”

“We are a very highly regarded department,” Huang said. “There has been no indication that the department will be cut.”

Huang said two open faculty positions within the department make it very unlikely that the department is in any trouble.

Huang said 100 undergraduate students and 11 graduate students are currently enrolled in the anthropology program.

“Not only has this rumor been spread through the student body here at Iowa State, it has also been spread around the University of Iowa,” he said.

Peter Rabideau, dean of liberal arts and sciences, said it sounds as though there is no substance to the claim because no one had ever discussed eliminating anthropology faculty, only adding them.

Joseph Tiffany, associate professor of anthropology, said he had heard the rumor, but no one had made a formal announcement within the department.

Lindsay Williams, senior in anthropology, said she had not heard the rumor. She also said she felt the department could make no further cuts without degrading undergraduate education.

“We don’t have enough tools as it is,” Williams said. “In fact, we don’t even have a lab to work in.”

Williams said a student in anthropology must obtain a doctorate in order to make use of an undergraduate degree in anthropology. She said further cuts will drastically affect the potential preparation for advancing undergraduate students.

“If other universities know that a student wasn’t trained well, then that student won’t be recruited and, in the end, won’t get in anywhere,” she said.