COLUMBIA — In response to a state push to lower degree inventory, MU administrators have proposed merging or discontinuing 23 degree programs for a net loss of 16.
Chancellor Brady Deaton sent a letter to the state Department of Higher Education on Thursday outlining a plan to close seven programs and merge or realign the remainder.
“With the active engagement of our faculty and academic leadership, there will be a net reduction of 16 in the degree inventory,” Deaton said in the letter. “Some of this reduction will come from degrees that will be discontinued and some come from merging both ‘low-producing’ and ‘high-producing’ degree programs to create a stronger new program.”
He noted that programs tagged for a merger would be discontinued only if the new combinations are approved.
In addition, students would be allowed to complete degrees in existing programs.
“No student currently in those programs will be adversely affected by our actions,” Deaton said.
The letter also included an attachment with justification to continue 40 other programs.
University officials had expected to decrease the degree inventory by 12 programs, which has now been adjusted to the 16 now proposed.
- Graduate program in natural resources (MNR)
- Education specialist in career and technical education
- Doctoral programs (2) in career and technical education
- Education specialist in special education
- Doctoral program in communication sciences and disorders
- Undergraduate program in clinical laboratory sciences (BHS)
- Spanish and French bachelor’s programs
- Spanish and French master’s programs
- Forestry and parks/recreation/tourism and soil/environmental/atmospheric science master’s programs
- Forestry and soil/environmental/atmospheric science doctoral programs
- Exercise physiology and nutritional area master’s programs
- Pharmacology and physiology master’s programs
- Pharmacology and physiology doctoral programs
- Undergraduate degree in environmental geology will be changed to a degree in geological sciences
Anthony Barbis said a decision was made to cancel the education specialist in career and technical education because of overlap and insufficient interest.
"It is similar to a second master’s degree. and there is not enough interest in that area from students," said Barbis, who is with the department of learning, teaching and curriculum in the College of Education.
“We decided to cancel the education doctorate because we don’t have enough doctoral faculty to support the students,” he said.
Among the suggested mergers is master’s degree programs in forestry, parks/recreation and tourism, and soil, environmental and atmospheric science.
Rose-Marie Muzika, director of graduate studies in forestry, said everything is preliminary.
“It is still in discussion,” Muzika said. “I don’t know the time frame.”
Eve Edelheit contributed to this report.