Missouri Western would drop majors under proposal

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Missouri Western State University/Photo by Brent Martin

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

A comprehensive academic review recommends Missouri Western
State University drop some majors to shore up the university’s finances and to focus
on core classes.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Doug Davenport
led the Academic Review Board which recommends eliminating majors in history
and philosophy as well as reducing majors offered in arts, music, and
communication.

Davenport calls it a difficult proposal to make.

“I would say its gut-wrenching. It’s terrible. It is not easy,”
Davenport tells St. Joseph Post. “It’s extremely difficult and, because you
know that no matter how you look at numbers, behind those numbers are people.
So, we know that in any recommendation, you’re affecting students and faculty
and other employees.”

In all, the board recommends dropping both majors and minors
in 20 different disciplines.

A comment period is now open before Davenport finalizes the
recommendation to forward to Missouri Western President Matt Wilson by April 15th.
Wilson will ultimately bring his final recommendation to the Board of Governors.

Wilson has stated that for the past four to five years,
Missouri Western State University has had expenses $2-to-3 million higher than
revenue each year and has failed to address the shortfall.

Davenport hopes the university will become stronger through
focusing on core classes.

“I think we will be a different institution,” according to
Davenport, “and it is absolutely my hope and desire that we do become a
stronger institution, even though we are not offering a comprehensive and exhaustive
set of options in terms of degrees.”

Still, Davenport reiterates it is a difficult recommendation
to make.

“I never want to lose sight of the fact that it is the people that
are being affected, not just an institution,” Davenport says. “I hope that at
the end of the day everyone understands that we’re going to do the very best
that we can to make the best decision in what is obviously a very bad situation.”

The Missouri Western Board of Governors is scheduled to meet
April 29th when it will consider the recommendations.