Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Two high-profile professors leave UK

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Budget cuts were a big factor in the decision by two high-profile professors to leave the University of Kentucky, they said.

Mike Desch, director of the Patterson School for Diplomacy, has been appointed to an endowed chair at Texas A&M University. He arrived at UK six years ago from Harvard University.

"Having an endowed chair is the pinnacle of the academic heap," said Desch, an expert in national security.

But in addition, "Texas A&M will be hiring 450 new faculty, and I suspect we won't be doing much new faculty hiring after a number of years of budget cuts," he said.

Stuart Kaufman, an award-winning political science professor, is leaving UK, where he has been since 1990, to move to the University of Delaware.

"The main thing for me was budget cuts meant that while the number of students are going up, the number of professors is going down," said Kaufman, the 2002 winner of the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award for his first book, Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War.

"My department needs more people to cover all the different specialties in our field, and there was no prospect that would be addressed," he added.

UK historian George Herring said the timing of these departures is particularly painful.

"You would think this would be a time when we would give top priority to international relations and national security, and we're losing the core of that program. It's big."

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