MU task force recommends 27 programs for deactivation, chancellor says too soon to talk layoffs

An MU task force is recommending 27 programs for deactivation at the University of Missouri. 

All of the programs are either doctoral, masters or graduate certificates. No undergraduate programs have been recommended for deactivation at this time. 

Over the past six-and-a-half months, the University of Missouri's Task Force on Academic Program Analysis, Enhancement and Opportunities was charged with doing a top to bottom review of every academic program at Mizzou. Their final report, which has been submitted to the provost's office, outlines which programs they believe the university can no longer sustain. It also includes recommendations for areas of investment and collaboration. 

Per the report, the task force did not make recommendations for inactivating undergraduate programs because they are "often more interconnected in terms of providing a comprehensive education to MU students." The report also states that MU has a strategic goal of increasing the size of its incoming undergraduate class to 6,000 by 2023 "which raises questions about concurrently reducing undergraduate degree offerings." 

"That's actually going to take a much more in depth conversation with our deans and the chairs," MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said in an interview ahead of the report's release. "We need to understand much more of how all of that is interconnected and once we can get to that stage, I think we'll be in a better position to say what we should be doing." 

Cartwright said he hopes to still make decisions about undergraduate program cuts in the spring, but said that's an aggressive timeline. 

"The next phase is going to require a lot of engagement with all of our units—the deans, the chairs, the faculty and understanding what is happening in each of those programs before we make any decisions," he said. 

Cartwright said they are working to determine how much the university will save by potentially deactivating more than two dozen programs. He also said it's too soon to say whether any jobs are on the line. 

The task force gathered both qualitative and quantitative data before making their recommendations. They looked at things like student credit hours, enrollment the number of degrees awarded, racial and ethic composition of degree programs, research productivity and more. They also held 39 meetings with campus constituents. 

For master's and doctoral programs, the task force examined the average number of applicants, the average acceptance rate, and the average matriculation rate. For doctoral programs, the time to degree was also reviewed. 

"It's a difficult decision because you have to look at the data. But the data doesn't tell you everything, always," Cartwright said. 

Any student currently enrolled in a degree program that is eliminated will be able to finish and get their degree. 

The task force does not have the final word on which programs will be deactivated. Cartwright said interim provost Jim Spain will make recommendations to him, and then he will discuss them with President Choi and the UM Board of Curators. He said the goal is to make Mizzou the best institution it can be.

Here is a list of the programs recommended for inactivation. You can read the full report and see the rationale for each program here

Doctoral Programs: 
Ag Education
Rural Sociology 
Art History & Archeology
Classical Studies 
Chemical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
Romance Languages
Medical Pharmacology & Physiology*
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology*
*These five programs were in the School of Medicine, which had already been pursuing a way to develop a single interdisciplinary program combining the five areas. 

Masters Programs:
Rural Sociology 
Applied Mathematics
Art History & Archeology
Classical Studies 
Clinic & Diagnostic Sciences
Dispute Resolution
Nuclear Engineering
Personal Financial Planning
Religious Studies 

Graduate Certificates:
Nuclear Safeguards Science & Technology
Personal Financial Planning
Center for the Digital Globe
Lifespan Development

Doctoral Emphasis within a degree:
Personal Financial Planning

comments powered by Disqus

ABC 17 News Stormtrack

  • Thursday March 22 Evening Weather Video

Top Videos