The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced their plans to save money by cutting 13 majors in the social sciences and the humanities. The university has seen declining enrollment, and the university plans to add what they call majors with “clear career pathways” to help create interest in the university.
The university will expand programs in finance, marketing and engineering while cutting majors in programs that include art, English, history, foreign languages, political science and philosophy. The university will also expand its MBA programs.
While the university states that this dropping of humanities and social science majors is designed to save money and attract enrollment, critics say that it is all part of a conservative agenda to deemphasize liberal arts in favor of an educational system that prepares people for the workforce. Critics point to a program pushed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2015. He specifically stated that he wanted the university system to “meet the state’s workforce needs.” Critics say that conservatives do not see any practical value in studying the liberal arts, so they seek to eliminate them.
Students and faculty members at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point react in shock at the announcement. A group of concerned students have planned a sit-in in a campus administration building to protest the planned drop in majors.
While the university does plan to drop 13 majors, those currently enrolled in one of the 13 majors do not have to be concerned. The school stated that those who are enrolled will be able to graduate in their majors.