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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Department chairs react to potential program cuts

A+sign+welcoming+students+to+the+offices+of+religion+and+philosophy%2C+two+programs+that+may+potentially+be+cut.+
Austin Patterson, The Exponent
A sign welcoming students to the offices of religion and philosophy, two programs that may potentially be cut.

Provost Stephen Stahl proposed a list of potential program cuts, including Spanish, German, piano performance, community health promotion, sustainability, religion and philosophy. Stahl said he will be hosting town hall meetings for each school after the Thanksgiving break. Don’t fret — all the current students enrolled in the above-mentioned programs will still be able to finish up their programs as Ohio requires higher education institutions to “teach out” their students for a maximum of two years “until those students have been provided an opportunity to complete their degrees.”

Community health promotion

Amy Jo Sutterluety, department chair of the Department of Allied Health, Sport and Wellness, said that universities [in the United States] are continuously evaluating which degree programs are in demand and which ones are low enrollment. She said that no decisions have been made regarding which programs may or may not be cut, but declined to offer further thoughts on Baldwin Wallace University’s potential program cuts.

Philosophy

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Ten students are majoring in philosophy, and many more are minoring in it. Kelly Coble, department chair of the Department of Philosophy, said that he does not know — and nobody really knows — what programs may or may not be cut. He said that the Provost should not have listed any potential program cuts without first having a clear idea of what will be cut and the actual cost savings for these cuts. Coble also emphasized that the humanities are under attack — not just at BW, but across the nation — and he believes that these programs are vitally important to educate well-rounded students who are able to engage in certain, important types of critical thinking. Coble said that he will do everything in his power to fight to keep the philosophy program alive at BW.

Religion

Two students are majoring in religion and two students are minoring in religion. However, students may take religion courses to fulfill their core requirements in the General Humanities, Cultural Literacy, Diversity and International credits, meaning that many students outside of the major or minor for the program also take religion courses. Ellen Posman, department chair for the Department of Religion, said that as soon as the news was released that “[the administration] might be shutting down small programs,” she knew that religion would possibly be cut. Posman said that as the number of students studying religion has decreased over time, the potential for the department to merge with other departments in the Humanities has been talked about for a while. Although the outcome is still unknown, she expects a departmental merger to be the likely outcome of the deficit. Posman said that because of the potential cut, the University is turning away from liberal arts education.

Sustainability

David Krueger, head of the Department of Sustainability, said there are currently around 15 sustainability majors on campus. Krueger said that cutting sustainability for financial reasons would be wrong because there is “virtually no cost to cut.” He built the major 14 years ago with the intention of making it low cost, utilizing existing courses rather than adding new ones. Going forward, Krueger said that he is “hesitant” to recruit new students due to his fear that the University will not be supporting the major, and that in this case he has a higher duty to the students than to the University. Krueger has reached out to over 100 alumni from the program to see if they would like to start an initiative of keeping sustainability at BW.

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