The Ottumwa Courier

Education

January 22, 2014

Iowa Wesleyan to close 16 academic program majors

MOUNT PLEASANT — Iowa Wesleyan College President Steven Titus announced Wednesday the reorganization of academic programs, administrative departments and personnel.

The changes are designed to generate future growth and achieve fiscal sustainability. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify the program changes and reductions in administrative departments.

“The changes we are making at Iowa Wesleyan College will focus our academic program on areas of strength and streamline our operations to achieve growth and fiscal sustainability. The academic program restructuring is designed to be more focused in our offerings and better meet the demands of today’s students,” Titus said.

The academic program review process began nearly half a year ago with the formation of committees to review academic programs, student enrollment patterns and graduation rates. All current students will be able to continue their education and graduate within their major. Changes in the academic program will affect only those students starting in the fall of 2014 or later.

The recommendation includes the closure of 16 academic program majors. The academic programs are those with low enrollment or diminishing student demand. The few students impacted by the changes will have the opportunity to finish and graduate.

The academic program closures include the following: studio art; sociology; history; pre-law studies; philosophy of religion; communication and mass communication; forensic science; general studies/liberal studies and seven teacher education endorsement areas. In addition to changes made in the fall, the move impacts an estimated 22 faculty positions and 23 staff positions and reflects a budget savings of nearly $3 million annually.

“Although our curriculum and faculty in those programs are excellent, demand has changed. It is no longer appropriate to fund programs with little to no student interest,” Titus said. “It is difficult to make these tough decisions, but it is necessary to move forward with our plan for the future. The path of growth, promise and achievement requires sound financial stewardship.”

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