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The Daily Tar Heel

Cut the cord: Landline phones are increasingly gratuitous, and ?cutting them is a simple way to save significantly

UNC recently decided to drop landline phones from many academic departments around campus. This is a welcome and innovative way to cut costs.

Budget shortfalls have been the topic of many a conversation recently.

The decision to cut landlines is a creative way to address this problem.

And by fully taking advantage of the low-hanging fruit, the University can minimize the substantive impact of further cuts.

The academic departments that are availing themselves of these cuts should be applauded. Any efficient and logical way to save money is, of course, always welcome.

Landlines have become outdated. They have been largely replaced by cell phones as well as e-mail and Blackboard. One is hard-pressed to justify the need for them other than satisfying nostalgia.

But if a professor feels they do need one, they can opt to still have a landline, so this is not forcing them to substitute cell phones and the Internet if they so choose.

That being said, professors who believe they need a landline should step back and look at the big picture. The art department intends to save $10,000 for the year following the elimination of 18 landlines. That’s not just small change. It’s a significant sum.

“We’d rather cut phone lines versus, say, laying off people,” said Lindsay Fulenwider, administrative manager of the department of art.

We are usually apt to advise against viewing things in black and white, zero sum terms. But here she has captured the dichotomy well. In the current climate, there’s simply too few dollars and too many needs.

As the recent struggles with budgets force the University to cut some truly needed things, it is good to see innovative cutting of luxuries and unneeded items that could have just as easily been overlooked.

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