April Fools’: Pitt cuts liberal arts programs

By Eric Shannon

This story is part of The Pitt News’ April Fools’ Day special edition. It is entirely… This story is part of The Pitt News’ April Fools’ Day special edition. It is entirely fictional.

In a move that is sending shockwaves through academia, Pitt has become the first school in the nation to do away with all of its liberal arts programs.

Citing a changing economy and the need for massive budget cuts, Pitt has announced that it will no longer offer non-technical degrees.

Pitt spokesman John Ferrari said that though Pitt offers a world-class education in its non-technical degrees, the recession has proved that such degrees in English literature or Slavic studies are of diminishing significance in today’s job market.

“We had to look really hard at where the economy was headed and felt that it was not only irresponsible to continue to offer degrees that did not prepare students for any sort employment, but that it was unconscionable to withhold funding for the science- and technology-based degrees that will yield financial success to continue to pour money into more antiquated disciplines,” he said.

Many students currently working toward a degree in a liberal arts discipline responded with anger. Some withdrew from Pitt.

Junior Antoinette Krebbes, who had been pursuing a degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies, said the decision signals a far-reaching societal conspiracy.

“Science-heavy fields tend to be dominated by men, so it’s no surprise that the University would favor the degrees that perpetuate the culture of a patriarchal corporatocracy,” Krebbes said. “So I guess I’ll have to start bartending … man, this is such crap.”

For some faculty members, such as Karl Lambert, who holds a doctorate in 17th century British literature, the news is even more crushing.

“The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch!” Lambert said, drinking from a flask. “My brother in Boulder said that he’d get me a job with his landscaping business.”

Though the decision is seemingly unfair, significant data supports the idea that a non-technical education is no longer feasible, Carol Finland, director of the Office of Career Services, said.

“We keep track of students that get placed in jobs after graduation, and of all the liberal arts majors in the class of 2009, exactly two have gotten jobs,” Finland said.

The detailed report identified that only journalism major Lyle Frederickson and art history major Kelly Brouwer were able to secure jobs in the year since graduation.

Frederickson was hired as an obituary writer for the Sheboygan Daily Sun where his uncle is the editor, and Brouwer was able to secure a job as a receptionist at a local museum, which Finland attributed solely to her “considerable attractiveness.”

Finland’s advice to students who are still a year or two from graduation was to switch majors to a field that relies heavily on math or computing. For students graduating in April, her advice was much more disparaging.

“From the data we’ve seen, it’s clear that the American economy no longer has any place for creative thought or humanity. God have mercy on your souls.”