University of Missouri faculty and staff now have a specific timeline for decisions on whether to close more than a dozen graduate programs.
In an email Wednesday, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said final decisions on the closures and consolidations will be made by May 16.
A report released February 15 recommended the closing, consolidation or review of several graduate programs in response to budget and enrollment challenges. It cited reasons such as low numbers of graduates and research productivity.
But several faculty members present at a meeting Monday said the report’ results focused on quantity instead of quality.
Charles Presberg is an MU Spanish professor. The Romance Languages doctoral program is one of the recommended closures. He says he is glad the chancellor is open to talking directly with faculty about the decisions.
“The task force report is something like an aerial view from 6,000 feet of the university,” Presberg said. “Well now it’s time to speak in real conversations, substantive dialogue, with people on the ground.”
MU English professor Andrew Hoberek said that most faculty understand that tough decisions will have to be made, but he also wants some accountability with them.
“To the best of the administration’s ability to provide this information,” Hoberek said, “we’d like to know how the changes that they make will actually help with the budget crisis.”
Additional data and updates will be made public as they become available, according to the email. Cartwright will continue to work with members of the university community, and faculty can provide input until April 9.