UMSL considers cutting programs
BELLERIVE (AP) — The University of Missouri-St. Louis is considering eliminating some degree programs amid financial trouble.
A committee of deans and faculty compiled a report proposing the university cut the bachelor's degree programs for anthropology and theater, the master's program for communications and the Ph.D. program for political science, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The report also suggests consolidating several majors into one program, such as sociology, gerontology and gender studies.
The committee evaluated the programs based on enrollment, past success in improving students' employment prospects, addressing emerging employment needs and campus benefits, among other criteria.
Provost Kristin Sobolik said students currently enrolled in these majors would be allowed to finish their degrees.
Many students in the affected programs expressed concern about the value of their degrees after graduation.
"If I have a degree from a program that no longer exists, I think employers would look at that and say there's an issue there," said Dana Channell, an undergraduate studying anthropology and music.
Sobolik acknowledged that she cannot predict the decision's potential impact.
No jobs will be lost from degree eliminations or consolidations, Sobolik said. It's possible that the university could choose to not fill some positions once vacated.
Other institutions in the University of Missouri System are researching and reviewing the future of their degree programs, according to the school's administrators. The move follows a request from the System President Mun Choi.
The state issued a report in December alleging that half the 1,800 degree programs at Missouri's public colleges and universities do not meet state standards.
The university hopes to make final recommendations by May 9. Some recommendations may need approval from the state Department of Education. Implementation for some proposals could take years.