Baker University to eliminate five majors in the fall
In a budget-cutting move, Baker University announced the elimination of five majors of study, although many of the courses in those majors will still be taught.
The move takes effect in the fall semester of 2010 and will save the university around $400,000, said Steve Rottinghaus, Baker director of public relations. The savings come from the retirement of four professors and the relocation of seven others into different positions after the spring semester.
The majors are molecular bioscience, wildlife biology, computer information systems, physical education and political science. The moves resulted from the findings of a committee that had analyzed all majors. They affect about 30 non-freshman students.
“All the students impacted by this have been talked to and steps have been taken to insure that they graduate on time,” said Rottinghaus.
Unlike past reductions that have cost 33 people their jobs, the latest move is only through attrition, he said. About a year ago, 23 people were laid off, followed by another seven in June and three in December as the university felt budget pressure.
Rottinghaus said the committee looked at numerous criteria as outlined in the faculty handbook, as well as other factors such as graduation trends, total credit-hour production and under-enrolled courses. The decisions weren’t made lightly, he said.
“This was definitely a last resort,” said Rottinghaus. “A year ago we started trimming staff and other steps, such as salary cuts, have been taken. Academic programs were last on the list.
“There is definitely restructuring going on in the academic programs,” he said.
However, although the majors are no longer offered, that doesn’t mean many classes can’t be taken, the majors have basically been absorbed. For example, molecular bioscience will be offered as a concentration within the biology major. Computer information systems will now be a concentration within the computer science major.
“These majors have been eliminated, but most classes will still be taught,” said Rottinghaus.
While political science has been eliminated as a major, course offerings will still be offered as appropriate. Courses will also continue to be offered for physical education majors planning on earning teacher licensure.