Thank you for the article about the demise of the informal classes program at the University of Texas [“Where's the Outcry Over Informal Classes?
,” News, Feb. 26].
While it is unfortunate that the Cactus Cafe has been targeted for budget cuts, there are other equivalent venues around Austin. But with the elimination of the informal classes, there is no single equivalent education program in Austin. Even though there has been much focus on the Cactus Cafe, if the university had to choose between keeping the informal classes program or the Cactus Cafe, the university and the Austin community would be far better served by the reinstatement of the informal classes program.
It seems odd that the union would point out that there are numerous nonstudents who enroll in these classes when it is the case that they actively market these classes to all Austin citizens. If the majority of the enrollees in the informal classes program are not UT students, then perhaps it is time that the university decided to move the informal classes to a different organizational unit more appropriate to administering a community continuing education program than the union. This may allow more flexibility in balancing the organizational budgets without elimination of this valuable program.