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UA Completes Program Reviews, Plans Deep Cuts

In August, prior to the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, The University of Akron announced the completion of its year-long degree program review.

Following approval by the Board of Trustees, it was announced that nearly 20 percent of degrees or degree tracks would be phased out over the next few years, amounting to cuts in 80 programs. The review, completed as part of state-mandated requirements, was said to have looked at both areas of potential growth for the University, as well as programs with low enrollment or those competing with more robust departments at nearby colleges.

Assessing the 414 degree or degree-track programs at the school, UA officials including faculty, department chairs, directors, deans, faculty Senate, and a 24-member faculty Academic Program Review Executive Committee examined the outcomes, strengths, and weaknesses of each. Interim president, John Green, and provost, Rex Ramsier, then compiled a list of recommendations for approval by the Board. In helping to determine which of the 81 percent degree tracks would continue, enrollment constituted a major factor. As of the release of the report, the 965 students enrolled in the programs set to be cut will be able to finish their degrees at the University, after which time the cuts will begin to be made.

Programs set to be eliminated include:

  • 17 associate’s programs

  • 20 bachelor’s programs

  • 33 masters programs

  • 10 doctoral programs

At the same time, the University claims that it will hire positions in cybersecurity, criminal justice, polymer and chemical sciences, health and bio sciences, performing arts, digital communications, business, law, and education.

It is believed that over the course of a few years, these cuts will free up around $6 million for reallocation. While these cuts to degree programs are being made, the University has plans to invest in “esports,” or competitive video gaming, by creating varsity teams and developing space on campus for competition. Annual operating budget costs for esports is reported to be over $400,000 for UA specifically.

To find additional information on the University’s review and program restructuring, click here.

Abbey is an Ohio native currently caught between the charm of the Midwest and the lure of the big city. She loves all things politics and pop culture, and is always ready to discuss the intersections of both. Her favorite season is awards season and she is a tireless advocate of the Oxford Comma. Abbey will take a cup of lemon tea over coffee any day and believes that she can convince you to do the same. As a former English major, she holds the power of words near and dear.
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