A major cut to courses at UWSP

Liam Glennon

SPASH Mirror

In November of 2018, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) outlined a plan to solve some of its fiscal troubles by investing in studies with projected growth potential.

The university has been facing a $4.5 million budget deficit for three years because of dwindling enrollment, according to UWSP’s website. This proposal attempts to address the issue by creating and/or expanding some of the more popular majors at the school in hopes of attracting more students.

This doesn’t come without cost which is why UWSP is siphoning funding away from humanities and social sciences majors into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields to expand the program there. The STEM fields draw in more students than most other fields, and STEM workers are in high demand, which only bolsters the profit from this change.

“I think it’s a good move, but it’s not without drawbacks” Andrew Roe, a communications student educator at UWSP said. “It’s unfortunate, seeing all of these important majors … going, but if UWSP wants to stay afloat, they need to drop something.”

UWSP is proposing to expand programs that have shown great potential over the last few years. These programs include Chemical Engineering, Computer Information Systems, Conservation Law Enforcement, Finance, Fire Science, Graphic Design, Management, and Marketing.

It is also evolving some minors into majors and starting others such as Aquaculture/Aquaponics, Captive Wildlife, Ecosystem Design and Remediation, Environmental Engineering, Geographic Information Science, Business Administration (Masters), Natural Resources (Masters), Physical Therapy (Doctorate).

The initial proposal included the removal of American Studies, Art, English (certification for teaching in this field still offered), French, Geography, Geoscience, German, History (certification for teaching in this field still offered), Music Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish. Students enrolled in these majors will still be able to finish their majors.

However, this has been revised and only French, German, History. Geology, Geography, and two degree concentrations in art, would be cut.

With a few of UWSP’s majors getting cut, its professors will be laid off as well. These faulty will not be let go until June 2020.

“I can understand their (UWSP’s) decision. Do I agree with it? Kind of, it’s a fair trade for fiscal stability but at the cost of all these majors? I don’t know,” Roe said.