The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point is planning to cut 13 humanities and social sciences majors to make room for several technical majors.
In a news release, the University said it was taking these steps to "prepare for the future."
The University currently faces a $4.5 million deficit and a lack of financial resources, according to the statement released on March 5. The proposal is designed to invest more resources into 16 majors that show more growth potential and career demand. Majors like English and History would be cut to provide resources for departments like finance and chemical engineering.
University officials said 80 percent of their humanities and social sciences courses would still be taught under the proposal, which is still awaiting approval from a campus governance committee and the University of Wisconsin system’s chancellor and Board of Regents.
Greg Summers, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said increasing competition from other universities and a recent decline in enrollment also led to the proposal, according to the statement.
Students have protested the proposal, presenting a letter to the University's administration demanding the creation of a task force to draft an alternative counter-proposal that would resolve the school's budget challenges. Although the students acknowledged that changes must be made, they called for representation from each college on campus in the new proposal. Over 300 students, faculty, and staff members participated in the "Save Our Majors" protest and a silent sit-in that took place in an administrative building on March 21.
“We understand that we cannot remain the same kind of comprehensive university that we have been in the past,” the letter writes. “We urge academic affairs, common council and student government to reconsider the extent to which this proposal would affect the campus as a whole.”