Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Superior announced the elimination of nine undergraduate majors, as well as 15 minors and one graduate program.
Sociology, theater, art history, journalism and something called media studies are among Wisconsin-Superior’s newly suspended academic majors, reports local ABC affiliate WDIO.
Political science and the specialty major of forensic chemistry are also getting the ax at the taxpayer-funded school.
Minor programs on the way out at Wisconsin-Superior include geography, photography, physics, earth science and global studies.
The school’s computer science minor is also facing elimination — but not the major.
Several of the eliminated majors and minors involve teaching (e.g. history teaching and psychology teaching).
The graduate program which will no longer exist is a master’s program in art therapy.
Only about 3 percent of the students at Wisconsin-Superior have declared majors in the 25 programs on the chopping block. Those students will be able to finish their degrees.
“Faculty and professional academic advisers will work with students in these programs to ensure they can complete,” interim vice chancellor of enrollment management Brenda Harms said in a press release obtained by WDIO.
Also, no faculty members will lose their jobs and students will still be able to complete at least some coursework in the fields which won’t have majors and minors. Students just won’t be able to specialize in those fields.
School officials say they are cutting the various academic programs in order to “remain responsive to regional needs.”
“We’re finding that it’s difficult to offer so many different programs trying to cater to the programs students want and seek versus those that demonstrate a lack of interest,” said Jackie Weissenburger, Wisconsin-Superior’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, according to WDIO.
Weissenburger noted that Wisconsin-Superior serves many first-generation college students who are very oriented toward local and regional careers.
“Once you lay out an incredible and lengthy list of programs and courses, many of these students find it difficult to navigate their way through,” she said.
A sociology professor at Wisconsin-Superior, Eric Edwards, said he is really sad about the changes.
“It makes me angry. It makes me depressed. It makes me feel like we’re selling out our student experience,” Edwards told the local ABC station.
“I see this as a cowardly decision by the administration, to say ‘we’re not going to lay anybody off, no one will lose their job,” Edwards also said.
Wisconsin-Superior will still offer students over 50 majors and over 40 minors.
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