News Release

Academic program changes

Monday, March 15, 2010

Half of St. Cloud State University's academic programs got word today about their future status.

  • Marked for closure are 26 programs including the Geology major, Information Media major/minor and the Accounting minor. View the full list (PDF).
  • Recommended for elimination or reduction are eight programs, including the Art History major and the Public Administration major/minor. These programs are to be suspended until program changes are implemented. View the full list (PDF).
  • Recommended for consolidation or reduction are 58 programs, including the Earth Science major/minor and the master's degree in Gerontology. View the full list (PDF).
  • Recommended to stay the same or receive additional resources are 18 programs, including the Chemical Dependency major, the History major and the master's degree in Social Responsibility. View the full list (PDF).

Evaluation of the other 50 percent of the university's academic programs begins this summer. The Strategic Planning Committee is expected to receive reports from those programs April 30.

Purpose of SPA

The Strategic Program Appraisal process seeks the alignment of academic programs with the university's Strategic Action Plan by enhancing the level of academic quality across the university and by directing human and financial resources toward existing and new programs that best serve the region and state.

"Closing programs is one of the most difficult actions a university can undertake," said President Earl H. Potter III.

Provost Devinder Malhotra led the process, working closely with the Strategic Planning Committee, which is made up of faculty, staff and administrators.

In a March 15 letter to faculty and staff (PDF), Potter noted that the first round of program cuts would not result in significant savings -- perhaps the equivalent of nine full-time positions. 

Less than 1 percent of the student population, or 135 students, is enrolled or has stated an intention to enroll in programs to be suspended or closed.

"We are committed to support these students through the completion of their degrees, but it has become clear through our Strategic Program Appraisal efforts that we are offering too many programs with too little student interest," said Potter.

"Our resources and academic focus are stretched too thin and our shrinking resource base will no longer allow us to maintain these efforts," he said.

 

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