President Matthew Wilson sent out an email to students today explaining the Academic Program Review results as to what majors and minors are looking to be phased out within the next two years.
Since the news came out, several students, parents, alumni and community members have gone to social media stating their concerns and reached out to University officials. Griffon News released an article earlier with a list of all the majors that are currently being reviewed with the potential of being phased out over the next two years.
Please note that at this time, nothing is 100% official. Students are advised to look at the email that Wilson sent to see if they are likely to be affected.
Wilson said that although some of the majors/minors are looking at being phased out over the next two years, some of the classes that these programs offer have the possibility of still being offered as general studies classes. An example Wilson gave during an interview with Griffon News is if a degree program is phased out that has five professors, the higher level courses will not be taught, leaving two professors to be let go while the rest of the professors will teach the general classes.
Wilson said that although some degrees and programs might potentially be let go, this doesn’t mean that the personnel or the program has been considered invaluable.
“You know, one thing that we're trying to emphasize is just because a program has been identified, it doesn't mean that we're questioning the value of that program,” Wilson said.
The university has been struggling with a deficit for several years now, and with everything that has happened with the university due to COVID-19, Wilson said that the university is losing roughly $3.5 million.
“You know, no one wanted the university to be in the situation,” Wilson said. “It's something that has evolved really over the last, you know, decade in higher education in general. You know, it's evolved on our campus really over the last five years. And for the university to be sustained and to continue forward, we need to make these adjustments.”
Students who would like to voice their concerns are advised to reach out to Wilson, Provost Dr. Doug Davenport and the Student Government Association. SGA is planning on holding several listening sessions for students who would like to voice their concerns over the next week, and dates will be posted to social media as soon as they are confirmed with Griffon News.
As stated in a previous article from Griffon News, Wilson’s email explained that for the last few weeks the ARB has been reviewing data to “assess each major and minor that does not meet the state’s annual graduation guidelines (10 students/year) or sustainable enrollment levels.” According to Wilson’s email, the data that was reviewed included enrollments, graduates, student credit hours, faculty counts, etc. as well as outside employment data to have a better understanding of the demands for majors/minors, program viability and career prospects.
Wilson’s email states that most current students will not be impacted by the potential changes.
Even if a major/minor is looking to be phased out, the University plans to have the impacted courses have a couple years.
For students who are in programs that are looking to be phased out, Wilson’s email states that they do not have to look at changing their major. The university has a pathway to degree completion and are offering two years to finish program requirements.
The list of majors that are looking to be phased out at this time are the following:
Bachelor of Fine Arts with major emphasis in Studio Art;
Bachelor of Science in Engineering, major in Art;
Bachelor of Music, major in Music Performance and Industry;
BM, major in Music Technology and Industry;
Bachelor of Arts, major in Musical Theatre;
BA, major in Theatre;
BSE, major in Speech and Theatre;
BA, major in Cinema (preserves Cinema minor);
Bachelor of Science, major in Biology Botany (preserves three main Biology majors);
BS, major in Biology-General;
BS, major in Biology-Zoology;
BS, major in Biology-Biotechnology;
BS, major in Natural Science-Biology;
BS, major in Chemistry (preserves Chem-Med Lab Science program);
BS, major in Natural Science-Chem/Chemical Business;
BS, major in Natural Science-Chem/Chemical Education;
BS, major in Natural Science-Chem/Forensic Science;
BS, major in Natural Science-Chem/Health Professions;
BA, major in Speech Communication;
BS, major in Convergent Journalism;
BS, major in Speech Communication;
BA, major in History;
BA, major in History/Teacher Certification;
BS, major in History;
BS, major in History/Teacher Certification;
BA, major in Philosophy;
BS, major in Philosophy;
BS, major in Philosophy/Religion;
BS, major in Applied Computer Technology;
BS, major in Computer Science and Communicating Information;
BS, major in Mathematics;
BS, major in Mathematics/Teacher Education;
BSE, major in English;
BSE, major in Spanish;
BSE, major in French;
BA, major in English Creative Writing;
BA, major in English Literature;
BA, major in English/Technical Communications;
BA, major in English Language and Culture;
BA, major in English Professional Applications;
BA, major in Political Science;
BS, major in Political Science;
BS, major in Sociology;
BS, major in Economics;
BS, major in Psychology in Organizational Leadership (Preserves general Psychology program);
BS, major in Criminal Justice/Corrections;
BS, major in Criminal Justice/Juvenile Justice;
BS, major in Recreation/Sport Management/Rec. Mgmt.;
BS, major in Physical Education/Teacher Education;
BS, major in Physical Education/General;
BS, major in Health Information Management;
Master of Applied Sciences, emphasis in Engineering Technical Management
BA, major in International Studies
Wilson said that if any students or faculty members have concerns that they shouldn’t hesitate about reaching out.
“If the folks are unsure and uncertain, reach out and talk to folks at the university, they'll be able to provide you information. I mean, we're here,” Wilson said. “You know, oftentimes, folks jumped to conclusions that aren't, aren't necessarily correct. However, you want to frame that. So, you know, it's better, it's better to ask. I mean, you can even say things you know or you heard of several folks who've already reached out thinking that this is what the situation was, and after they had things clarified, they were fine understanding that it wasn't going to impact them.”
Wilson said that decisions will only become final once the recommendations reaches the Board of Governors. He said that the proposal is "out on the table" and they have now entered the feedback stage.
As of now, the anticipated date for final decisions is set for April 29.