More… But Less Curriculum Cuts for Fall 2016

By: Rebecca Reese, News Editor

Many students were surprised back in November when major curriculum cuts were announced. This semester has seen far fewer cuts, and Academic Dean Nolan Atkins said any changes this semester are, “nothing major.”

“We had to remove a few sections of INT2040,” Atkins said. “But juniors and seniors needing it for graduation were given priority registration. They have since registered for the class. The remaining INT2040 seats are now available to sophomores.”

The cuts were made due to the original course offerings proposal by academic departments. The original course offerings put the schedule $80,000 over budget.

This is why the Curriculum Task Force exists.

“We are a committee working to examine curriculum and make recommendations for curriculum change,” he said. “We were able to resolve this budget gap by making adjustments to the schedule.”

A few weeks ago, Financial Controller of SGA Joseph Cioffi, also a member of the Task Force, suggested to meet this budget the college would be cutting majors.

However, Atkins says this is not true. As of April 20, Atkins said, “To date, no major has been recommended for archival.”

However, the college still continues to make curriculum cuts. Atkins said this is due to enrollment being down from previous years.

“Therefore, the budget used to pay for instruction has gotten smaller since it is tied to tuition revenue,” Atkins said.

Tuition will increase 2.4% for the Fall of 2016, but that does not help the instructional budget much. Atkins said, “The 2.4% tuition increase will help a bit. It represents less than 1% of our overall school operating budget.”

Though the process of cutting course offerings has been ongoing, Atkins believes that it will not continue in the future. He said, “I believe we will soon solve these problems.”

Atkins said, “I believe with all of the work we have accomplished in modifying our curriculum this last year along with continuing work this summer and next academic year, we will solve the majority of our curriculum challenges.”

The Curriculum Task Force is in the process of implementing a new system for schedules, going forward.

“We are in the process of implementing a new system for building schedules that should make it easier for students to get the GEUs that they need,” Atkins said. “We are implementing this process for building the Spring 2017 schedule.”

In comparison, one million dollars needed to be cut from the Spring 2016 budget. The $80,000 cut for Fall 2016 was more timely and the cuts were less harsh.