West Virginia University may cut 32 majors to address its budget shortfall
Proposed cuts in the master’s degree programs include acting, creative writing, higher education administration and multi-categorical special education, legal studies and public administration.
WVU cited a decline in enrollment as a factor, as its student population has dropped 10% since 2015, according to multiple reports.
West Virginia University (WVU) announced Aug. 11 it may cut 32 of its 338 majors to address its $45 million budget deficit.
“The University is navigating a projected structural budget deficit for fiscal year 2024,” WVU Today reported in April. “That deficit, initially estimated at $35 million, is now projected to be an estimated $45 million, driven largely by the recent increase in PEIA employer premiums.”
WVU will cut 12 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate majors, which represents 9% of its majors, at the Morgantown campus, which would impact about 434 students or 2% of its enrollment. The cuts will impact 169 faculty members, which constitutes 7% of faculty, according to a university news announcement.
WVU has already cut 509 classified and non-classified employees between 2015-2022, which averages to 64 people per year, university Executive Director of Communications April Kaull told Campus Reform.
Possible cuts in the master’s degree programs include acting, creative writing, higher education administration and multi-categorical special education, legal studies and public administration. Possible cuts in the bachelor’s degree programs include women’s and gender studies and public health.
While the WVU announcement states that interest in world languages is “low and declining,” on par with the national trend,” Kaull told Campus Reform that WVU has “no intention of eliminating student opportunities to learn a foreign language.”
”Today’s students are open to different methods of instruction and learning, so we are exploring alternative, contemporary methods of teaching language for the small number of students seeking foreign language instruction at WVU,” Kaull said.
WVU’s student population has dropped about 8% since spring 2020, according to data the representative shared with Campus Reform.
“The Board of Governors charged us to focus on what will best serve the needs of our students and our state,” President Gordon Gee said in the news announcement. “Students have choices, and if we aim to improve our enrollment numbers and recruit students to our University, we must have the programs and majors that are most relevant to their needs and the future needs of industry.”