16 Academic Programs Recommended for Elimination at University of Wyoming
Six low-enrollment bachelor’s degrees, eight master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees could be axed as the University of Wyoming tightens its belt.
American studies, art education, energy systems engineering, modern language education, Russian and technical education are the bachelor’s degrees recommended for elimination Monday by the UW Office of Academic Affairs.
Under the recommendation, master’s degrees in philosophy, neurosciences, sociology, environmental engineering, human nutrition, French, German, food science and adult and postsecondary education would go by the wayside.
Ph.D. degrees in adult and postsecondary education and statistics would also be eliminated.
Per UW regulations, the recommendations are open for comment through Nov. 19. Faculty, staff and student senates will be able to respond by Jan. 27. Then it will be up to Provost Kate Miller to review and weigh those responses before making her final recommendations to President Laurie Nichols by Feb. 26. Nichols will then offer recommendations to the UW Board of Trustees.
According to a UW news release, a total of 130 students — 97 undergraduates and 33 graduate students — are currently enrolled in the programs recommended for elimination. Those students will be able to complete their degrees regardless of how the recommendations shake out.
The UW release does not specify the number of faculty and staff that would be impacted, nor does it detail how they would be affected.
“There will be no adverse impact on students,” Miller says, adding that recommending elimination of master’s degrees in several cases is designed to let departments focus on bachelor’s degrees and vice versa.
Some eliminated courses of study would be folded into other degree programs.
In addition to the eliminations, the recommendations also include proposals to consolidate or reconfigure several academic units.
The American Studies Program would be consolidated into a Division of Interdisciplinary Studies along with the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and perhaps others. The Department of Statistics would merge with the Department of Mathematics, and the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies would consolidate with similar units, with a goal of increasing efficiency.
THe Science and Mathematics Teaching Center would be closed and reconfigured with a broader role in STEM education, according to the release, effectively making it a P-16 STEM education center dovetailing with UW’s science, engineering and education initiatives.
Miller says the cost savings from the proposed changes have not been analyzed in detail, but notes that her recommendations are distinct from the efforts of the president and Financial Crisis Advisory Committee to present an FY 2018 budget-reduction and revenue-creation plan to Trustees in November.
Miller’s recommendations come after two rounds of reviews covering 56 programs. The university release says recommendations were based on mission centrality and quality of the programs, including factors such as external demand for graduates, internal demand for courses, quality of faculty credentials and facilities, and quality of things like student learning outcomes and graduate placement.
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