Wisconsin University Looks To Abolish Liberal Arts Majors

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point proposed eliminating “programs with lower enrollment” to make room for degrees with “clear career pathways,” according to a Tuesday report.

If the University of Wisconsin system’s board of regents and chancellor approve the plan, UW Stevens Point would nix English, history, philosophy, and 10 other majors, reported The Hill. The school would funnel the funding for these majors into more practical ones like graphic design, management, and chemical engineering.

UW Stevens Point suggested implementing the changes to combat its $4.5 million deficit due to lower enrollment, according to The Washington Post.

“To fund this future investment, resources would be shifted from programs with lower enrollment, primarily in the traditional humanities and social sciences,” UW Stevens Point said. “Although some majors are proposed to be eliminated, courses would continue to be taught in these fields, and minors or certificates will be offered.”

The school said that the cuts may result in tenured professors getting laid off and expects to begin making in or after June 2020.

“If we accept the need for change, and we confront and solve the financial issues currently facing the institution, we can create a new identity for the regional public university,” UW Stevens Point provost and vice chancellor Greg Summers said in the school’s press release. “UW Stevens Point can move forward with fiscal stability, new opportunities to build programs and grow enrollment, and renewed capacity to improve our service to the students and communities of central and northern Wisconsin, which are complex, diverse and ever changing.”

Students and faculty are organizing a sit-in to protest the proposal.

“In August, a faculty governance committee will begin work on analyzing what has been discussed using all the feedback from the forums to determine their recommendation,” UW Stevens Point spokeswoman Carrie Heibler said to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They have three months to complete this work. Then the recommendation goes to Chancellor Bernie Patterson for his approval and then to the UW System Board of Regents for approval. The entire process may go into the new year before it is finalized.”

TheDCNF also reached out to the University of Wisconsin system for comment but received none in time for press.

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