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Radomski weighs in on UW-Stevens Point plan to eliminate liberal arts programs

March 14, 2018

Noel Radomski, managing director of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), weighed in on the controversy surrounding ​UW-Stevens Point's plan to transform its academic offerings​ -- eliminat​ing ​13 majors in the liberal arts while adding programs in science, engineering, business, and technology -- in a Wisconsin State Journal article.

Noel RadomskiThe plan is in response to the university's $4.5 million budget deficit and as part of a push to emphasize "high-demand career paths."

Radomski said the plan "could hurt the university’s reputation and hamper student and faculty recruitment. Few other universities that faced budget deficits took similar steps​, he said, and for good reason."

“They are going to have a firestorm,” Radomski said. “The word’s going to get out: Do you really want to go to Stevens Point?”

Radomski explained that while many other regional public universities ​have faced budget deficits, very few have responded like UW-Stevens Point. "Eliminating programs, especially in the liberal arts where facilities and technical costs are minimal, doesn’t save much money, he said — adding that it saves almost nothing in the short term because first-year students must be given time to complete their degrees."

"Measures other universities have taken to shore up their finances include, on the expenditure side, eliminating administrators and reducing facility expenses, and on the revenue side, expanding their interdisciplinary and online course offerings," Radomski said.

WISCAPE is housed in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) within UW-Madison's School of Education.

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