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Lebanon Valley College is considering the elimination of programs, faculty positions as part of academic restructuring

LEBANON COUNTY — Lebanon Valley College announced it is considering the elimination of faculty positions and academic programs as part of an academic restructuring.

In a letter to the LVC community, president Lewis E. Thayne said the proposed changes are preliminary recommendations that come from a joint task force of leadership and faculty members assigned to reduce academic program and organizational costs by $1.6 million.

The preliminary report recommends discontinuing the following low-enrollment majors: French, German, philosophy, and religion, the college said. Courses would still be taught in at least some of these disciplines, but the majors would no longer be available to incoming students starting with the Fall 2020 incoming class.

The report also recommends consolidating international business and global studies into a new major, restructuring art & visual culture to focus on studio art (eliminating other concentrations), redesigning or consolidating the major in interaction & experience design, streamlining the design, media, and technology (digital communications) major, and eliminating a number of minors.

The report includes additional recommendations for enhancements and efficiencies to the academic infrastructure, operations, and processes, and for cutting non-instructional costs, including funding the art gallery solely through philanthropy.

No tenured faculty positions would be eliminated, Thayne said in his letter.

“It has not been determined whether there will be any involuntary separations of faculty who do not have tenure; that will be determined after other reductions have been finalized and will likely be a small number, if any,” Thayne wrote.

The task force is now gathering additional feedback from the faculty on these preliminary recommendations, Thayne’s letter said. Students are also being involved in the process through Student Government-run discussions.

The faculty-led task force’s final report is due for faculty vote in November and will be submitted to the Executive Committee no later than Dec. 5, 2018, Thayne said.

The full board will vote on the recommendations at its February 2019 meeting.

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