‘Low completer’ programs: It could be you

With the state looking to consolidate, remove or justify programs at state schools, some wonder how these institutions will function.

GSU has 31 at-risk programs. Some at-risk GSU undergraduate programs include Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics, Physics, English and Foreign languages. Predictions and opinions about the possibilities run the gamut.

“I believe we should take this as a ‘wake up call’ to become more aggressive in recruiting students to our university. Next, we must put additional effort towards retention of our current students,” said Rep. Rick Gallot.

“… Students, faculty, administration, alumni and others must get engaged and reverse the trend of low completion in programs.”

“My views on program cuts are not the same as (the) majority of the other students,” said Student Government Association Vice President William Burge.

Burge is a hotel restaurant management senior who said that his program now “has more professors of business” under the management department, as the result of consolidation efforts.

Of program cuts, Burge said some are for the university’s betterment.

Sophomore class president Jonathan Allen echoed his sentiments.

“We aren’t graduating and applying ourselves,” said Allen. He added, “Some of our priorities are simply mis-aligned.”

“We can’t point the finger at anyone, but ourselves,” said Burge.

Students in implicated departments disagree.
“I don’t think the government has exhausted all other alternatives,” said Desiree Cotton, an English senior from Monroe.

“Some classes haven’t been offered in years.
“I don’t feel important in my department because they are bogged down (with lower-level English courses),” said Cotton.
She said that although some students are not concerned because their departments are not on the risk list, “it could be you.”

Others view the review as an attack on higher education in the state.

“Grambling State University has had a long history as one of the epicenters of educating African Americans. There is no denying it,” said alumnus and Louisiana State University law student Terry Young.
“However, I don’t think that many of our state lawmakers or our governor are too concerned with that.”

Last November, SGA took students to a higher education rally in Baton Rouge to protest budget cuts.

SGA President Lamark Hughes said that he is prepared for another Baton Rouge trip if students do not approve of program cuts at the university.

Of program cuts, Cotton said, “You hurt one, you hurt all.”

“This does not mean these programs will automatically go away. It means we must review student needs and program effectiveness to justify maintaining the programs or consolidating for more efficient delivery.”

“This is a healthy process, and we are pleased the Board of Regents has stepped up its efforts in reviewing under-performing programs.This more-stringent review is consistent with our streamlining and efficiencies initiatives.”

– Dr. Randy Moffett, president, University of Louisiana System

Program cuts: by the numbers

212 = Degree programs in the University of Louisiana System targeted for consolidation or termination.

31 = Number of at-risk programs at GSU

100+ = At-risk teacher education programs in the state. (This area was previously exempt from low-completer review.)

56 = Number of academic degree programs eliminated by the University of Louisiana System during the past two years.

How were the 56 identified? 24 were identified from previous Regents standards; 32 were initiated by campuses.