UW-Superior drops Halloween axe on 25 academic programs

The University of Wisconsin-Superior issued a news release this morning announcing it has “suspended several academic programs in an effort to positively affect student success and position itself to continue to remain responsive to regional needs.”

The news release mentioned no program by name. The Duluth News Tribune reports the programs to be dropped include “journalism, multiple science majors, theatre, art history and more — meaning no new students will be admitted into multiple majors, minors and one graduate program.”

Below is a list of the 25 programs being suspended. It includes nine academic majors, 15 minors and one graduate program. A Superior Telegram story reports 121 students are enrolled in the suspended programs.

Major Programs
Broad Field Science (major)
Broad Field Science (Teaching) (major)
Chemistry: Forensic (concentration)
Communicating Arts: Journalism (track)
Communicating Arts: Media Studies (track)
Political Science (major)
Sociology (major)
Theatre (major)
Visual Arts: Art History (concentration)

Graduate Program
Masters in Art Therapy

Computer Science
Computer Science (Teaching)
Earth Science
Geography (Teaching)
Global Studies
Health and Human Performance
History (Teaching)
Legal Studies
Media Communication
Physics (Teaching)
Psychology (Teaching)

The Superior Telegram is also reporting additional academic programs have been put on a warning status.

Although UWS will continue to accept students into programs on warning status, changes in curriculum are required. Action plans must be developed by June 1 for the programs.

Programs on the warning list include the following majors: Broad field social science, broad field social science (teaching), chemistry, chemistry (teaching), computer science, economics, history, history (teaching), mathematics and mathematics (teaching).

The following minors have also been put on the warning list: Biology (teaching), chemistry (teaching), English, English (teaching) and mathematics (teaching).

The university’s news release notes cutting the programs will “narrow the possible options for incoming students and help them make more informed decisions.” The release appears below in its entirety.

UW-Superior makes changes to academic programs

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Superior have suspended several academic programs in an effort to positively affect student success and position itself to continue to remain responsive to regional needs.

New students will not be admitted into these programs at this time. Students who have currently declared these majors or minors will be assisted in completion in their program of study. Decisions were made based on program enrollment trends, credits to degree and other factors.

According to the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, students faced with a multitude of program choices struggle with course selection, which can lead to making misguided decisions. First generation college students are particularly susceptible to becoming overwhelmed by large academic program arrays. Considering 46 percent of the UW-Superior student body meet first generation criteria, the university’s decision will narrow the possible options for incoming students and help them make more informed decisions.

Approximately three percent of our undergraduate majors are currently enrolled in one of these major programs of studies, with the majority of these students at senior status. “We are committed to helping students complete their current program of study. Faculty and professional academic advisors will work with students in these programs to ensure they can complete,” said Brenda Harms, Interim Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management.

No faculty will be laid off as a result of these suspensions. The university will continue to offer more than 50 majors and more than 40 minors.



about 5 years ago

This news is not exactly the way most colleges/universities want to be on the front page of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Plan to phase out two-dozen programs stuns faculty at Wisconsin-Superior
I'm pretty close to the situation, having been a victim of the earlier budget cutting. But ... it just doesn't make sense to me. UWS's bread and butter for years has been education. Go to your favorite local high school. Interview all the teachers on the hall, I bet you won't have to go far to find a tenured teacher who did his/her undergraduate work at UWS.  
And yet UWS cut multiple teaching majors -- Broad Field Science for instance. You major in that and you can teach 4-10th grade science. And it doesn't require any more classes than UWS already offers: Intro to Bio, General Chemistry, Algebra Based Physics, Intro to Geology. And a few upper-level courses. But, I guess, it means that we expect our students to be unable to make informed decisions. Instead of helping them develop self-sufficiency skills we limit options. Maybe that's the future of education. 
In which case, maybe that's why we have a science teacher shortage developing nationwide: those who can think for themselves want no part of it.


about 5 years ago

What does the Chancellor say regarding these cuts?

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Here are a pair of quotes from Chancellor Renee Wachter.
Duluth News Tribune: "UWS students express frustration over program suspensions"
In response to a UWS alumnus questioning why he should continue to support the university, Wachter said alumni should be committed to the university because they believe in students and the future.
"That's why I would ask that you remain committed to this place because it's worth it. And I know right now people feel like we don't value them, but that's really not the case," Wachter said.
WPR: "UW-Superior Students Protest Move To Suspend Programs"
"I heard the thoughts and the emotions surrounding the suspensions, and, believe me, I understand. In addition, I’ve heard from those who are very cognizant of the necessity and the complexity and the difficulty of the decisions, including having the confidence of UW System President Ray Cross," Wachter said. "I know, in looking out for the long-term interests of the university, my responsibilities as an administrator means addressing challenges and looking toward the future, and sometimes that means making decisions with which others may not agree."

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