Virginia's Marymount University eliminates 10 degree programs, including theology, after low interest

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Despite important pushback from existent and erstwhile students, Marymount University successful bluish Virginia announced Friday it voted to get free of 10 of its grade programs.

The Board of Trustees astatine nan Catholic university, located successful Arlington, voted 20-0 successful favour of removing 9 undergraduate fields and 1 postgraduate programme owed to debased interest. Those eliminated are arsenic follows: B.A. Art, B.A. Economics, B.A. English, B.A. History, B.S. Mathematics, B.A. Philosophy, B.A. Secondary Education, B.A. Sociology, B.A. Theology & Religious Studies, and M.A. English & Humanities.

The assemblage said nan programs taken distant were "no longer serving Marymount students" successful a missive obtained by FOX 5 DC Friday.

"The impacted fields are seldom selected by Marymount students and, successful fact, person only graduated a fistful of students successful nan past decade. This determination reflects not only our students’ needs, but our work to hole them for nan fulfilling, in-demand careers of nan future," nan missive read.


A building connected Marymount University's field successful Arlington, Virginia. 

A building connected Marymount University's field successful Arlington, Virginia.  (Google Maps )

As of Friday, location are 74 full students seeking degrees successful nan 10 programs – 22 of whom will postgraduate successful May. The remaining 52 students will beryllium capable to complete their degrees, but nary different students will beryllium admitted into nan programs going forward.

The assemblage said students will still beryllium required to study nan subjects arsenic portion of Marymount's halfway wide arts curriculum, and module successful nan eliminated programs will proceed to thatch nan courses.

Earlier successful nan week, a spokesperson for Marymount told Fox News Digital that nan assemblage "will reallocate resources from those programs to others that amended service our students and bespeak their interests," adding that nan elimination of nan fields are supported by "definitive investigation and a Faculty Advisory Committee, nan Academic Policy, Budget and Planning (APBP) Committee."

The schoolhouse said nan scheme is not "not financially driven," and "will supply nan University nan opportunity to redeploy resources to amended service students and areas of growth." 

Marymount said nan costs disposable from losing nan 10 programs will now beryllium funneled to much celebrated fields and initiatives – though a circumstantial scheme has not been revealed. 


The motion for Marymount University successful Arlington, Virginia. 

The motion for Marymount University successful Arlington, Virginia.  (Google Maps )

Prior to nan determination being made, nan assemblage faced a batch of disapproval crossed nan committee from students, alumni and immoderate faculty, and a petition formed connected successful support of keeping nan fields racked up much than 1,500 signatures.

A accuracy professor astatine nan school, Adam Kovach, told ARL Now that nan "consequences" of nan changes "have not been thought through" and that nan planned displacement successful resources is "vague."

"The management claims programme closures will let nan assemblage to displacement resources to turn programs pinch larger enrollments and to create innovative caller programs, but this is each vague and aspirational," Kovach told nan outlet.

"We person not heard immoderate definite scheme for really to grow," Kovach added. "We person not seen grounds these changes will lead to costs savings that could conscionable arsenic good beryllium achieved without closing programs. The strategy appears to be, wreck first and find retired what to build later."

The American Historical Association, nan U.S.’s oldest master relation of historians, besides sent a missive to MU President Irma Becerra past week asking her to reconsider nan "short-sighted" plan.

"We impulse Marymount University to reconsider this decision, which undermines nan university’s committedness to ‘intellectual curiosity, work to others, and a world perspective.’ While nan university’s wide arts halfway provides 1 measurement of addressing this mission, it is basal that students person nan opportunity for nan deeper study and mastery of a section that comes pinch majoring successful history and an array of humanities programs," nan letter read.

Marymount University President Irma Beccerra poses for a picture.

Marymount University President Irma Beccerra poses for a picture. (Charles Mostoller/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)


In an update submitted connected Wednesday, Becerra said it "would beryllium irresponsible to prolong fields [and] programs pinch consistently debased enrollment, debased graduation rates, and deficiency of imaginable for growth." 

She added that recommendations and decisions connected programs marked for elimination are based connected "clear grounds of student choices and behaviour complete time."

Marymount was founded successful 1950 arsenic a two-year women's Catholic schoolhouse earlier it expanded to its current position arsenic a university. There are astir 4,000 students enrolled.

Fox News Digital's Emma Colton contributed to this report.