101 academic programs recommended to be suspended at WKU

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 6:21 PM CDT
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In an email Monday, Acting Provost Cheryl Stevens stated that the Comprehensive Academic Program Evaluation (CAPE) Committee completed a review of all 380 of WKU’s academic programs.

As a result, it recommends the school to cut 101 programs in majors, minors, and certificates.

"Out of all of those programs, that impacts about 3% of our population," said Bob Skipper, Media Relations Director for WKU Public Affairs.

The cuts would come from five different colleges on campus including the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Gordon Ford College of Business, Ogden College of Science and Engineering and Potter College of Arts and Letters.

"Many of those recommendations were self recommendations some of those suspensions were things that programs, not programs, but the Dean's recommended themselves," said University Senate Chair, Kirk Atkinson.

WKU says 42 of the programs recommended to cut have zero students enrolled in them.

"We wanted to go through this process so can re-energize and re-focus our curriculum so that it fits the needs of today,"

Some targeted include minors in theater, English, government, mathematics --- all of these did not have anyone enrolled in Fall 2017. Majors targeted include French who had 22 enrolled in 2017, and Popular Culture Studies with 12.

"Some of these even though majors may be eliminated, the courses will still be taught because they are still necessary for our general ed program, and they're necessary in other programs as well," said Skipper.

With classes still being taught in these subjects, WKU says there are no planned layoffs at this time.

"So we won't necessarily see a mass exodus of faculty because of the CAPE process," explained Skipper.

Kirk Atkinson also serves in the CAPE committee, and believes the cuts will be beneficial to other programs.

"We'll be able to address programs that are in greater demand, so hopefully it's a positive thing," he added.

So amid recent budget cuts, and now the recommended program cuts, it all aims for ultimate growth in both budget and student population.

"We have to find ways to grow our revenue if we're going to be sustainable. And a way to grow our revenue is by attracting more student. The way to attract more students is to have a relevant curriculum,"​ said Skipper.

A board of regents meeting is scheduled for Friday morning. The committee will present its recommendations to the academic affairs committee. If approved, it will be on the agenda for the full board in May.

If that's passed, students in the suspended programs will be able to finish them. ​

For a full list of recommended cuts, click