The University of Vermont, located in Burlington, announced to faculty and staff members that it will slash 27 total programs in its College of Arts and Sciences due to financial hardship. The coronavirus pandemic has squeezed both small and large colleges and universities, and the University of Vermont is not alone in making financial decisions like this one.
Inside Higher Ed reported that in the internal announcement, Dean William Falls wrote, “This decision has been extremely difficult.” He added, “It has been informed by data and guided by a strategy to focus on the future success of our college by consolidating our structure and terminating programs that can no longer be supported without jeopardizing programs with more robust enrollment.”
Falls noted that the university’s leadership will “move forward on this plan expeditiously” because there is “no other way forward” for the arts and sciences college to balance its budget.
In total, the university will cut 12 majors, 11 minors and 4 master’s programs which had low enrollment.
Here are a few of the programs that will be eliminated:
- Classical civilization
- Asian studies
- Latin American and Caribbean studies
- Italian studies
The university could also eliminate or combine departments as a part of the restructuring.
The University of Vermont’s budget cuts highlight the ongoing problem facing higher education institutions: How can they maintain their bloated bureaucracies when revenue dries up? These days, higher education must change their programs in order to appeal to a skeptical American public, which has seen the ill effects of rising student loan debt without the skills or jobs to show for it.