To the editor:
On Nov. 13, the regents of Southeast Missouri State University voted to discontinue the geoscience undergraduate and graduate programs. We believe this decision should be reconsidered.
The education of geoscientists has been determined to be a critical need in Missouri. To help meet that need, Southeast geoscience graduates complete a rigorous curriculum that leads to satisfying careers as registered professional geologists, environmental geoscientists and earth science educators. Many alumni are employed in the environmental industry, an industry critical to economic development, compliance with environmental statutes, avoiding risks in property transfers and cleaning up past environmental mistakes. Other alumni teach at high schools throughout our region. Alumni advance in their careers to important positions in government agencies, environmental firms, mineral and energy resource companies and education. These career opportunities should continue to be available to young people in our region.
The regents could maintain an undergraduate geoscience program by cutting one less faculty position (two instead of three). This would protect the interests of geoscience majors and students in associated programs, maintain good relations with alumni, meet critical needs in Missouri and our region and preserve a career opportunity for future students, while still providing significant savings.
We strongly urge the regents to reconsider this decision because of the negative impacts to our students, the community, the region and the state.
DR. MICHAEL AIDE, DR. GARY CWICK, DR. JOHN HOLBROOK, DR. ERNEST KERN, DR. GARY LOWELL and DR. NICHOLAS TIBBS
Professors of Geoscience
Southeast Missouri State University