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Goucher College cuts math, physics, several other majors

Goucher College President Dr. José Antonio Bowen

Goucher College President Dr. José Antonio Bowen

Goucher College is cutting several majors and minors amid a cost-cutting “academic revitalization.”

Goucher President Jose Antonio Bowen informed the campus community in a letter that the Towson school needs to reallocate resources, which means cutting majors such as mathematics, physics and music.

Bowen said Goucher isn’t facing a financial crisis, touting a recent A-minus bond rating from Standard & Poor’s. He said cutting programs with dwindling enrollment would help implement a tuition freeze announced last year.

The school is also cutting Russian studies, studio art, theater, religion, elementary education and special education majors. Axed minors include book studies, German and Judaic studies. Meanwhile, the school is adding a visual and material culture major.

The decision on which majors to eliminate came after a lengthy review by faculty members and administrators, Bowen said.

“A large group of faculty met extensively throughout the summer to look at data on which courses had waiting lists and which were chronically undersubscribed,” he said. “It was determined that we were offering some large, overcrowded majors where we need more faculty and courses, and other majors where student interest had waned and classes were routinely being cancelled because too few students had signed up.”

Bowen stressed that even though some majors were being discontinued, courses in those areas will remain.

“We will still continue to offer robust course offerings in many areas including: math, data analytics, music, and art (among others),” he wrote in his letter.

“The arts will also continue to be an essential pillar of the liberal arts at Goucher,” he added. “The vast majority of the students who participate in theater, music, and art activities on our campus, in classes, performances, exhibitions, and in concerts, do not actually major in those fields. We may even add more activities, opportunities, and ensembles, based upon student interest.”

Incoming freshmen will still be able to major in eliminated subjects, he said.

Enrollment at Goucher in 2017 was 1,460 full-time undergraduate students and 372 full-time graduate students. Goucher has received national attention for launching an innovative admissions process in which prospective students submit a short, self-produced video in lieu of transcripts, test scores and other traditional application materials.

The college earlier this year unveiled a $100 million capital campaign to fund a number of projects, including an integrative learning hub, a new dining hall and student services building, a new science research center and an interfaith center.


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