UE Eliminating Fewer Majors Than Before; Still Making Some Big Changes

While fewer majors would be eliminated than originally anticipated, the new realignment plan released by the University of Evansville on Thursday would eliminate Art History, Philosophy, and Religion as majors, make changes to the University's athletic scholarship program, and eliminate a dozen administrative positions.

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 1:21 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2021 1:48 PM

After months of discussion with faculty, students, and other stakeholders, the University of Evansville on Thursday released the latest version of its Institutional Realignment Plan.

The Institutional Realignment Plan released Thursday results in far fewer faculty and program cutbacks than originally announced.

The first of the University's programs to survive the cut was the music department, which University officials announced in February would transition into the UE Music Conservatory, allowing UE to retain all five of its music degrees.

The University's latest plan spares several other majors, including Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Ethics and Social Change, History, Physics, Political Science, and Spanish.

Majors that will be eliminated under the new plan are Art History, Philosophy, and Religion - but all current students in these majors will be able to continue through graduation in their chosen disciplines, and Religion will remain as a minor.

The University says the new plan eliminates nearly $1.1 million in future expenses through changes to UE's athletic scholarship program in golf, swimming, and track and field - but that no current scholarships will be affected by these changes.

UE also estimates annual savings of more than $300,000 through an updated room and board policy for athletic scholarship recipients.

As part of the realignment, 19 faculty members chose to participate in the voluntary separation program that includes severance of 12 months' pay and a one-time $10,000 payment to assist with healthcare costs. These faculty members will teach through the end of the current academic year. Five additional faculty will move into redesigned positions at UE, and three faculty will enter into a phased retirement period. Beyond this, no other faculty positions will be eliminated. In UE's original plan, 38 faculty positions would have been eliminated.

Several other key changes are included in the plan released Thursday including the elimination of 12 administrative positions in the Department of Academic Affairs, Department of Fiscal Affairs and Administration, and Department of Student Affairs.

"After dozens of meetings with faculty, students, parents, and alumni, I am pleased to announce that this plan meets our financial goals with far fewer reductions," said University President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. "The plan puts us on very solid financial footing and will allow us to strategically invest in our students, faculty, staff, and programs going forward."

UE officials say the plan will ensure that the University can continue to offer 75+ majors, provide strong financial and educational support to students, and remain a part of Division I athletics.

The plan will be presented to the UE Board of Trustees on Friday for approval.

You can read the full plan released by UE on Thursday by clicking here.

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