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State to cut 19 MU degree programs

Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 7:44 p.m. CST; updated 10:18 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 10, 2011

COLUMBIA — A total of 73 degrees are on a list to be cut at Missouri's four-year universities — 19 at MU —  in an effort to slice low-producing programs from state institutions.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education released a report Wednesday naming all of the degrees to be eliminated or merged. The department pointed to 116 programs in all, including those at both two-year and four-year schools.

The announcement effectively ends a process that started last fall after Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the cost-saving measure.

Administrators at state colleges and universities were asked to find programs without sufficient enrollment figures to justify continuation.

The programs to be cut at MU matched those named in December by MU administrators as candidates for elimination or merger.

"We responded to the request by the MDHE to examine our programs, and they have accepted what we submitted to them," Deputy Provost Ken Dean said Thursday.

MU's share of the cut may not be as rough, though.

The only degree programs MU will eliminate are career and technical education, a specialist degree in special education, a communication sciences and disorders doctorate, a clinical laboratory sciences bachelor's degree and a master's degree in natural resources.

The rest, such as degrees in the sciences, foreign languages and forestry, will be merged into broader degree programs. For example, bachelor's and master's degree students who wish to study French or Spanish — two programs that will be cut — will now work for a degree under a program called "romance languages."

Students will be allowed to complete degrees in existing programs, Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a letter sent in December to the Higher Education Department.

In addition, “no student currently in those programs will be adversely affected by our actions,” Deaton said.

If the governor accepts the report, Ken Dean said he expects the phasing-in of these new programs to take at least 18 months.


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