Downturn leads to program cuts in US

March 29, 2010

In light of the recession in the US, dozens of majors and doctoral programs have been suspended or cut in the last year, with many more facing the chopping block. Several state systems, such as those in South Dakota and Pennsylvania, are conducting wholesale reviews of smaller degree programs, trying to weed out the allegedly weak programs. Program cuts have also signalled faculty layoffs. At Florida State University, whose board of trustees voted last June to suspend or discontinue 10 undergraduate majors and 3 graduate programs, 62 faculty members, of whom 21 are tenured, have been notified that they will no longer be employed at the university after May. Faculty activists interviewed by the Chronicle for Higher Education say professors should have more input on program-cutting decisions. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)