Students are planning to protest proposed changes to academic programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point by staging a sit-in of the campus administration building today.
On March 5, UW-Stevens Point released a statement outlining some proposed changes to the academic program. The change involved adding, cutting and expanding majors.
According to the statement, UW-Stevens Point is facing a deficit of $4.5 million over two years because of declining enrollment and lower tuition revenues.
In order to compensate for this, the university will be redirecting resources from low enrollment majors, primarily traditional humanities and social science majors. The university will instead focus on academic programs that have “demonstrated value and demand in the region,” according to the press release.
While some majors will be eliminated entirely, courses relating to them will still be offered, as well as some minor certificates.
“A broad, liberal arts education continues to be critical,” UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson said in messages to students, faculty and staff. “Importantly, we remain committed to ensuring every student who graduates from UW-Stevens Point is thoroughly grounded in the liberal arts, as well as prepared for a successful career path.”
Save Our Majors, a student-led community event, will give students and faculty members a platform to voice their opinions on the proposed change. Students and faculty members will meet at the Sundial between the Noel Fine Arts Center and Albertson Hall at 12:30 a.m. From there, they will be led to the historic Old Main building on campus for a 13 minute sit-in. The event will conclude with a community demonstration will take place in support of those who will be affected by the proposed 13 majors being cut.
UW-Stevens Point proposes expanding the following academic programs:
-Computer Information Systems
-Conservation Law Enforcement
UW-Stevens point has proposed new bachelor’s degree programs, such as:
-Ecosystem Design and Remediation
-Master of Business Administration
-Master of Natural Resources
-Doctor of Physical Therapy
UW-Stevens point has proposed that the following programs be discontinuted:
-English (English for teacher certification will continue)
-History (Social Science for teacher certification will continue)
-Sociology (Social Work major will continue)
Students who are already enrolled in programs that have been proposed to be discontinued will be allowed to complete their degrees, including students who enroll in Fall 2018.