Possible program cuts prompt ’emergency’ meeting

The Student Government Association and Office of Academic Affairs hosted an emergency meeting Tuesday in the Black and Gold Room during convocation hours.Interim Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Connie Walton addressed the possible elimination of 31 programs at the university.

One of the at-risk programs is English.

“I am really disappointed about it. There could be future leaders (in this major),” said English sophomore Gaquez Jackson.

Jackson, a Lake Charles native, is also president of the campus English club.

Although many students feel blindsided, GSU is not alone in facing an uncertain future.

The Louisiana Board of Regents announced that more than 450 academic programs at the state’s public colleges and universities are at-risk for elimination.

Gramblinites do not have to roll over and watch programs disappear, but only have a few days left to respond.

“Low completer” department responses are due to the University of Louisiana System by Feb. 10.

Responses from the University of Louisiana System are due to the Board of Regents by February 28.

The final recommendation from the Regents is scheduled for publication in April.

The board’s logic for wanting to remove programs included duplicative in-state academic offerings and low graduation rates in certain areas of study.

Low completer majors are baccalaureate programs that graduate less than eight students on average during a three-year period.

In past years, the review covered a five-year time span.

Some concerns were less Regents and more in-house.

Dr. Walton became passionate when a student said that he read an unfavorable list, which positioned GSU at a low level.

She emphasized that GSU serves a niche community.

The student questioned the niche argument and added that he had concerns about his quality of education.

Dr. Walton assured him and other students that a quality education could be received at GSU and she added that she received one as a Gramblinite.

“We were so excited to see so many students concerned with the well being of our university,” said SGA President Lamark Hughes.

“Please note that this is not the end but only the beginning.”

The university began reviewing low enrollment/low completer programs last spring.

“Remember, the future lies in your hands,” said Hughes.

UPDATE: Check out the PDF of all at-risk programs here: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/assets/pdf/D9169486126.PDF