UWGB looks to cut majors and minors as it addresses budget deficit | Green Bay Press-Gazette

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay might discontinue some majors and minors as it looks to cut costs amid a $2.2 million budget deficit.

UWGB is considering cutting majors in economics, environmental policy and theater and dance, according to an email sent to faculty and staff Tuesday. It’s also looking to discontinue minors in international environmental studies, geography and physics.

“There are a variety of reasons that these majors and minors are being considered, including enrollment and market demand trends, student outcomes, staffing and workload, and budgetary impact, to name a few,” Kate Burns, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, wrote in the email.

The university anticipates making a decision in February. Students currently in those programs wouldn’t be affected by the cuts, and would be allowed to complete their degree. The programs wouldn’t be offered to new students.

This is part of the university’s evaluation of its over 80 majors, minors and certificates as it considers changes to programs and course offerings.

No longer offering a major or minor does not mean UWGB would eliminate a department or faculty, Burns wrote. It also doesn’t mean the university wouldn’t still offer classes on those topics.

“We have added a lot as a university and we are used to piling ever more onto our plates, even with our limited resources,” she said in the faculty email. “This is not sustainable for a variety of reasons.”

This comes as the university cut nine staff positions in October. The layoffs are estimated to save the university $322,114 in recurring costs, with the cuts affecting libraries and the Rising Phoenix program, which helps high schoolers get dual credit at the university.

The university plans to offset part of its $2.2. million deficit through a 4.5% tuition increase, according to the UW System budget. Ten of the system’s 13 universities are projecting deficits this year.

Other University of Wisconsin System campuses are making cuts as they grapple with a lack of funds. UW-Oshkosh announced in August that it would lay off about 200 nonfaculty staff and administrators to address its $18 million budget deficit.

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