Henderson State Plan calls for elimination of 25-degree programs | Arkansas Business News


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Henderson State University Chancellor Chuck Ambrose released a proposed requirement plan Monday that calls for the elimination of about 25 degree programs and 88 teaching positions.

Bachelor’s programs in history, political science, biology, math and communications are among those recommended to be phased out as four-year-old Arkadelphia seeks to resolve its financial woes. The proposed job cuts would reduce the school’s teaching staff by 37%.

Ambrose said in February that the university faced a projected shortfall of $12.5 million this fiscal year, an amount that could leave it unable to service its debts, pay its bills and pay its debts. employees. Schools long-term debt increased from $14 million to $78 million, requiring annual payments of $6.9 million

Under the contingency plan, the university would save about $5.34 million in academic salaries through fiscal year 2024. It has already saved $1.8 million by cutting non-teaching positions and restructuring administrative positions.

The contingency plan will be presented to the Arkansas State University System board of trustees at a special meeting Thursday.

“We cannot get out of this challenge without implementing significant academic restructuring through the financial requirement process,” Ambrose said in a statement. letter to university stakeholders. “As the margins between net tuition and teaching costs widen, our only choice is to reorganize to deliver the academic programs that best match the needs of students and the community workforce. .”

Ambrose said students enrolled in programs that are discontinued, or “teaching” programs, “will be supported to earn degrees” in those programs.

“We will work one-on-one with students in overseas education programs to ensure that we provide the courses necessary for students to graduate,” he wrote.

Other programs leading to a university degree would be organized into four meta-majors: health, education and social sustainability; applied professional science and technology; business innovation and entrepreneurship; and arts and humanities.

Forty-four full professors would lose their jobs as a result of the proposed cuts. The cuts include 21 faculty vacancies.

“I am deeply saddened for these faculty members and understand how difficult this process will be,” Ambrose said. “We have not made these decisions lightly, and it is impossible to minimize the impact this has on members of our community. Henderson is a close-knit family and community, so we understand that this is difficult We will do everything we can to help these individuals during their transition.

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