UW Photo
UW Photo

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees unanimously approved the elimination of five low-enrollment academic programs during its meeting Thursday, May 11.

UW President Laurie Nichols and Provost Kate Miller presented the final recommendations to the trustees, following an extensive review of 12 programs.

The board approved the elimination of the Bachelor of Science in secondary education for industrial technical education, Bachelor of Arts in Russian, Master of Arts in French and German, and Master of Science in neuroscience.

The 13 students affected would be allowed to complete their degrees, through a ‘teach-out plan’ designed for students in each program.

Miller also recommended placing bachelor’s degrees in secondary art education and modern language education admission on hold for a year, while the university explores more cost-effective options for those students to get their certification in teaching

“Our long-term goal in that one is to have students get a degree rather than in the College of Education, to get their bachelor’s degree with the opportunity to be certified to teach,” Miller said.

Miller said the 12 programs reviewed were selected on the basis of low demand for courses and low demand in the community for graduates in those emphases.

Miller used the example of the Bachelor of Science in secondary education for industrial technical education, which she said only had one faculty member in Casper. She also said this degree was being quickly replaced across the country with degrees with a more modern emphases.

“This type of education is being replaced with engineering and technology and computer engineering technology, with a concurrent line for education,” Miller said.

Trustees Vice President Dave True expressed concern about the elimination of the secondary education for industrial technical education program.True said the need for teachers in those areas was still acute in Wyoming.

“How do we service high school students?” True said. “The workforce in Wyoming still needs those skill sets, they are not going away in Wyoming. Will we get rid of that program without considering statewide demand?”

State Superintendent Jillian Balow voiced her concerns as well.

“We need to build a workforce of teachers who learn to teach in a way which the workforce demands. We need to talk to the higher education about how to certify these teachers,” Balow said.

In addition to the programs being eliminated and put on hold, a number of programs will be merged with programs in similar fields.

The Bachelor of Arts in American Studies will be considered for a merger with the Department of History and the Master of Arts in philosophy will be considered for a merger with the Department of Religious Studies. The Ph.D in statistics will be modified following the merger of the Departments of Statistics and Mathematics. The university’s Science and Math Teaching Center will be replaced by a university-wide STEM training center.


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