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Concordia to discontinue nine major programs; considering cuts to staff too

Under financial stress, Concordia College says it plans to discontinue nine majors and one concentration, including several languages. The cuts will not be immediate but the university will no longer accept students in those programs. There are 3...

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Financial stress is leading one of Minnesota's most popular colleges to cut major programs. (FORUM NEWS SERVICE)
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Under financial stress, Concordia College says it plans to discontinue nine majors and one concentration, including several languages.

The cuts will not be immediate but the university will no longer accept students in those programs. There are 38 students now in the programs to be cut, 12 of whom are scheduled to graduate in May. The university said it will help those who remain finish their majors on time by way of courses by special arrangement, independent studies or substitution of requirements.

The cuts could also mean a loss of jobs for instructors in those majors by the end of May though tenured professors will have a year's notice, university President William Craft said earlier this week. The university was also offering an incentive for faculty members age 55 and older to retire early.

Programs to be discontinued are: classical studies, classics, Latin, Latin education, French, French education, German, health, humanities and the Scandinavian studies concentration. Health education, physical education and exercise science will still be offered.

The university said it has a target of $2.7 million in cost cutting and new revenue required to balance the budget and cover annual salary increases. By discontinuing less popular programs it can concentrate on those that are most in demand. No other cuts are expected in this school year, the university said.

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Concordia College has struggled with declining enrollment in recent years. In April, it cut 5 percent of its workforce, the equivalent of 31 full-time employees. In the fall, the university was able to report an increase in freshman enrollment but the effect of low enrollment from previous years still reverberates.

On the Web: For more details, see the university's announcement at bit.ly/20cuAbm.

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