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Lebanon Valley College is dropping some academic programs in an effort to control its instructional costs.

The decision was confirmed February 8 at the college’s most recent Board of Trustees meeting. President Lewis E. Thayne said in a letter that the change “arose partly from the need to reallocate funds, reduce expenses, and identify new revenue streams for the college” but also served a broader purpose of better meeting student needs.

The follow majors will be eliminated: French, German, Philosophy, and Religion. Existing students will be able to graduate with these majors but starting this fall no new students will be able to begin them.

Majors were reviewed using a number of metrics, including low enrollment, inefficient use of faculty, high school programs, etc.

The following minors will be eliminated: American studies, art & visual culture, art studio, French, German, global studies, philosophy, religion, world classics.

Minors were reviewed according to the following criteria: 1) the recommended elimination of the corresponding major eliminates the courses needed for the minor, 2) minor that has independent coursework with low course enrollment, 3) smaller numbers of students in the minor.

Some students may be unable to complete their minors depending on coursework. LVC says, “advisers will work with students to identify alternatives and solutions in these cases.”

The cuts will achieve a $1.6 million reduction in the instructional budget, or 10% of the total $16 million instructional budget for Fiscal Year 2019. Tenured faculty will not be eliminated.

The process began last spring and included department interviews, research, and budget analysis. The report was also presented and discussed with faculty, staff, and students.

Other budget tightening measures adopted by the board included a faculty salary freeze for the fiscal year 2019, early retirement incentives, the suspension of faculty load reconfiguration, adjustments to course caps, and other reductions in funding including to non-instructional academic budgets.

More information on the college’s FAQ page.

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