STEVENS POINT — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point would drop six majors as it reshapes its programs for the future, according to a proposal presented by UWSP today.
As it approaches its 125th year, UWSP plans to continue to evolve in a way university officials say could become a national model – by making programs more career-focused while weaving a liberal arts education throughout the curriculum.
“We’re creating new possibilities for students of all ages,” Chancellor Bernie Patterson said in a news release. “This new kind of regional university for the 21st century will produce graduates who are among the best prepared professionals in Wisconsin, giving them not only a very competitive advantage in their careers, but also in life.”
As part of the proposal, UW-Stevens Point’s academic departments would be reconfigured within several new interdisciplinary schools that house degree programs. They would focus on professional outcomes, each aligned with the talent needs of the region’s communities and businesses. Schools would include existing groups of programs in areas such as natural resources, health and wellness, business, education and the performing arts, as well as new configurations such as design, human services and information science.
UWSP would also create two new entities within its University College – the Institute for the Wisconsin Idea and the Center for Critical Thinking.
Through the Center for Critical Thinking, training will extend to local high schools, employers, nonprofits and other community partners.
The proposal calls for the elimination of six majors, less than half of the number of proposed program cuts announced earlier this year, according to UWSP. Majors slated for elimination are French, German, geoscience, geography, history and two (BFA) concentrations within art. All students currently enrolled in these major eventually discontinued will be able to complete their degrees.
UWSP would continue offering art (BA), graphic design (BFA) and history for teaching certification, all areas with higher enrollment. UW-Stevens Point also plans new programs in geographic information science at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels.
This proposal will be reviewed by various committees within the UW-Stevens Point Common Council. The chancellor will then review recommendations from shared governance and submit his final recommendation to the UW System Board of Regents. A final plan must be in place by spring 2019 to coincide with the submission of the next fiscal year’s budget. The first stages of the reorganization would be implemented by July 2020.
Find more information, as well as background on how UW-Stevens Point’s plan was created with input from students and faculty and staff members at www.uwsp.edu/pointforward.
Photo courtesy UWSP.