UCSB’s Department of Gnome Studies is facing budget shortfalls in the 2018-2019 school year, according to Department Chair Dr. Nicolas de Villars.
The Department of Gnome Studies, which is located between the first and second floors of Girvetz Hall, has high standing in the eyes of gnome scholars across the world, as it is the only such department in the United States. However, these budget cuts could threaten its stature.
“These cuts that the university is proposing would be disastrous for our department,” said Dr. de Villars. “Our budget is diminutive as it is. We operate out of a little closet in a stairwell, for crying out loud!”
The department offers classes such as GNST 40: Reproductive Gnome Politics and GNST 117: Height and Society. Its most popular course, GNST 154: Queer Gnome Literature, is taught by well-known gnome Danny Devito.
UCSB is already protesting the proposed budget. All twenty-two students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the tiny department staged a demonstration on the library lawn this Monday. However, they were confused for lawn decorations and kicked by rowdy teenagers.
“With diminished operating income, we will not be able to expand our research into other marginalized groups, such as leprechauns, nymphs, or trolls,” opined Dr. de Villars at the protest. “Gnomes are so much more than garden ornaments. But we cannot fight for gnomes’ rights with such a miniscule budget.”
Critics of Gnome Studies, such as UCSB student and noted gadfly Jacob Garfield, claim that these cuts are long overdue.
“UCSB should spend the Gnome Studies funds somewhere else. Why don’t we have a Department of Normal-Sized People Studies?” whined Garfield.