Idaho Universities Recommend Cutting Several Degree Programs

Aug 14, 2014

The University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.
Credit Idaho Department of Commerce

Idaho’s public universities Wednesday told the State Board of Education what programs and degrees they’re ready to cut, which could lead to job layoffs. All four of Idaho’s four-year universities reported on a yearlong evaluation known as program prioritization. This was a requirement from the state board aimed at cost cutting.

The schools looked at every program offered and judged each based on things like return on investment and demand. The resulting recommendations could lead to layoffs at each school.

Recommendations include structural changes like eliminating Boise State’s College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs and reassigning the academic departments to other colleges, or the University of Idaho’s recommendation to close its Office of Community Partnerships.

Other recommendations include consolidating or eliminating degrees or departments.

Idaho State University has dozens of programs up for consolidation. Here are some things it proposes eliminating entirely.

  • Bachelor of University Studies
  • BA in French
  • BA in German
  • Interdisciplinary MA degree in the Humanities and Social Science fields
  • Master of Education with Child/Family Studies emphasis
  • Department of School Psychology, Literacy, and Special Education
  • All non-health related programs at Meridian campus

The University of Idaho also has degrees it's willing to get rid of, including these.

  • Musical Theater -B.F.A
  • American Studies - B.A., B.S
  • Medical Technology -B.S.
  • Environmental Engineering -M.S., M.Engr
  • Art - M.A.T.
  • English - M.A.T.

Boise State’s recommendations focus on organization and administration, with fewer academic programs eliminated or consolidated than ISU or U of I. But BSU does recommend getting rid of the Department of Bilingual Education, and several areas of emphasis within degree programs. Biology and theater arts will lose the most areas of emphasis.

Lewis-Clark State College has the most conservative recommendations, such as consolidating some of its financial aid, admissions and student advising servicers.

While program prioritization is primarily about saving money, the schools also have recommendations for creating new programs, expanding programs that are in high demand and increasing recruitment in programs with high return on investment.

Find reporter Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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