University Strategic Alignment Process

Year 2 Frequently Asked Questions

Will students currently majoring in the affected departments be able to finish their degrees?
Yes. On October 21, Eric Link, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, sent a message to all students with declared majors in the affected departments assuring them that classes would be available through Spring 2020 so they can finish their degrees.

Will courses in the affected departments still be offered?
Yes. Courses in all of the affected departments will still be taught in the future. Tenured faculty members in the departments will remain with the university.

How many students were majoring in the affected programs?
The number of primary majors in all five programs has averaged 81 students (less than 1% of total degree-seeking students) over five years, with all programs experiencing a decline in enrollment during this same period.

Why are you cutting women’s studies when enrollment in the program was on the rise?
Decisions regarding program reduction and academic reorganization are based on multi-year patterns of student participation and graduation, not on variation in enrollment in any particular year.

Why are you cutting programs that generated revenue for the university?
Decisions regarding program reduction and academic reorganization are based on the complimentary goals of reducing overall instructional cost and improving aggregate instructional and administrative efficiency.

How were the decisions to cut programs made?
The University Strategic Alignment Process (USAP) started more than two years ago and involved a team of faculty and staff volunteers from departments and offices throughout the university. The team conducted two rounds of reviews and responses covering every academic and administrative area.

This research and data, along with other input such as regional employment predictions and the results of the student First Destinations Surveys, informed the recommendations made in the final USAP report, which was released in May, 2016.

The USAP report identified programs with a small number of students in their majors and which produced very few graduates over time. The report also offered ideas on how resources could be reallocated toward programs with high demand and high potential impact for the region and the economy.

Why are you cutting academic programs instead of athletics funding?
Athletics already faced $450,000 in reductions through the elimination of two sports. Administrative areas of the university also faced significant cuts in the last two years.