Wittenberg University cutting programs, reducing positions

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Wittenberg University cutting programs, reducing positions

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Wittenberg University is making cuts due to financial strain brought on by the pandemic.

The university Board of Directors voted June 18 to cut six academic programs and reduce positions. Officials say the cuts will save $2.5 million.

The reductions were recommended by an 11-member committee formed in February.

The following reductions were approved:

  • Discontinuing the following academic programs: archaeology minor; geology major and minor; French minor; Japanese; Russian minor; Russian and Central Eurasian Studies. In all cases, students currently involved in majors or minors in these programs will be able to complete their studies. Earlier in the year, the Board accepted recommendations from the faculty to discontinue the French major and the dance major and minor.
  • Eliminating two tenured faculty positions, one each in geology and Japanese. The faculty members will continue at the University through the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Not filling some other faculty positions left open by retirement and resignation.
  • Eliminating staff positions, including dissolving the Graduate and Professional Studies office and reducing staffing in other areas.

“These are painful but absolutely necessary steps,” said the Rev. Jonathan Eilert, chair of the Board of Directors. “We’ve spent months working on these plans. We’ve heard from faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni. The decisions we’re making reflect input from all those groups to help us reach this point. I also fully understand that people are losing jobs and academic programs are being eliminated. Those are among the most difficult decisions any university must make. And it speaks to the serious financial situation we face.”

Wittenberg President Michael Frandsen says that reopening plans for in-person classes continue. The 2020-21 academic year will begin on August 17, a week earlier than originally planned.

On-campus visits resumed on June 8.

Click here to read the full statement from Wittenberg University.

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