Last week, Greenville University announced a realignment of its academic structure to support the changing needs of students and help the University thrive in today’s shifting landscape of higher education.
“Making such changes periodically is a normal part of growth for an institution,” University President Ivan Filby said. “Years ago, GU offered stenography as a major, and students showed interest in learning Russian and organ performance. Their needs changed over time, and we altered programs to fit their needs. We’re doing that again, today.”
Throughout 2019, GU’s leaders explored shifts in student demographics and interests and reassessed the strengths of GU’s academic programs. The resulting plan offers new students 33 undergraduate majors and four graduate degrees supported by three colleges—Arts and Sciences, Social Sciences and Education, and Professional Studies. The plan strengthens the leadership and support system for most major offerings.
GU will phase out undergraduate majors in art, media communication, music, music education, music business, and philosophy. Courses will continue to be offered in the liberal arts curriculum.
On the graduate side, GU will phase out its Master of Arts in Education-Reading program and its face-to-face MBA program. GU will continue to offer its online MBA and Master of Science in Management Practice programs, its Master of Arts in Teaching (both online and in-person), and additional Master of Arts in Education options.
Students currently enrolled in the affected majors will be able to complete them, however beginning Fall 2020, new students will not be able to declare them.
No minors are being phased out at this time.
The university reports phased out majors directly impact fewer than five percent of GU’s students. These students have already been contacted and have met with administrators and the Records Office to discuss these changes. Students will receive additional individual guidance going forward.
These academic changes mean departure or changed responsibilities for 8 faculty members. The university has notified these faculty members of non-renewal or significant change to their responsibilities going forward. To ease their transitions and honor their work, the University will provide separation benefits that include a semester-long paid sabbatical plus recommendations and job placement assistance.
University leadership is sensitive to the effects such transitions can have on its tightly knit community. To ease the transition for departing faculty and honor their work, GU has offered generous separation packages.
The university prioritized the notification of impacted faculty and students prior to releasing information to alumni and the general public.
“Greenville University remains focused on its mission to empower students for lives of character and service,” said President Filby. “We are committed to helping students apply the liberal arts to their endeavors, whatever they may be. We have seen how students benefit, and how those who engage with our students and graduates benefit as well.”