MU Hosts Forum on Consolidating Degrees
COLUMBIA - MU administration and faculty met Friday for the first forum about potentially realigning MU degree programs. The administration has already identified twelve degrees to potentially cut due to low student enrollment, but in this forum, faculty members got to voice their opinions. Earlier in the year, the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) requested that MU review its degree program. MU responded by first identifying five degrees the university could consolidate into another program.
An email dated November 1, posted on the MU Chancellor's website said, "The total inventory of degree programs will be approximately 12 program degrees smaller."
However, at Friday's forum, MU Provost Brian Foster stressed that the programs on the list are not on the chopping block, but rather on a list of programs to be "evaluated."
MU administrators will come up with a final inventory of degree programs that they will present to the MDHE by Dec. 31. At the meeting, Foster said no action will be taken on the programs on the list. Rather, he said, the list will be a starting point.
"There's not any mindset about cutting programs, certainly not cutting programs. Really talking about adjusting degrees and maybe consolidating, combining and doing what will really enable us to be a stronger university looking ahead for the next 20-30 years," said Chancellor Brady Deaton.
Before Friday's forum, faculty council chair Leona Rubin said that just because degrees have been identified, it does not mean they will be eliminated. Rather, she said, they will be "reconfigured." That includes the possibility the programs might be consolidated.
There is no estimate on the amount of money this could save the university. At the meeting Friday, Foster said it has never been about saving money.