Elizabethtown College eliminating some academic programs, faculty

ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE, Pa. -- A Lancaster County college is making some cuts; Elizabethtown College is cutting some faculty, staff, and programs starting this fall.

Philosophy and Theatre majors will be phased out over the next year. Students will say goodbye to 7 members of the faculty come July 2020.

The decision is drawing mixed opinions among former Blue Jays.

“It’s just sort of… Bleak," said Ross Scottdale.

Stockdale graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts; he majored in philosophy.

"My favorite parts about going to Elizabethtown was the attention you get from professors. At larger schools, you’re just a number," he said when asked about his experience.

Now, it’s the number of cuts, including the philosophy and theatre majors, drawing some attention.

"It’s pretty depressing that we’re spending all this money to things not academically related whatsoever... like new athletic facilities and new dormitories as opposed to maintain the core Liberal Arts education," said Scottdale.

The college is also eliminating minors in theatre, peace and conflict studies and film studies; 22 students are affected in total by the academic cuts.

"I think it’s a good decision for them in terms of getting rid of the programs that they probably don’t have as much success in," said David Nagel-Nunez, who graduated with an accounting degree from ETown.

Seven faculty positions will be dismissed by July, 2020; however, those faculty will teach through this upcoming academic year.

“I really feel most sorry for the professors who did such a great job, and that were on tenure, some that got furloughed and let go," said Scottdale. "It’s a shame they did such a great job and they had to be let go for financial reasons.”

“I'm sad to see the professors go, but it’s probably in the best interests to strengthen the programs they currently have and getting rid of the programs that aren’t as strong," added Nagel-Nunez.

A statement made on Elizabethtown College's website reads: "The academic and operational realignment is occurring so the College remains relevant for the rapidly-evolving higher education marketplace. Elizabethtown College is in a solid financial position, and in order to plan for our long-term sustainability, these difficult decisions are imperative. While the majority of the College’s revenue is tuition-dependent, we are planning for the future so E-town and our students continue to flourish."

All impacted students will either graduate or have plans in place to graduate with  by the time those programs are eliminated.

Philosophy classes will still be offered, according to its website.

It also states over the last two years, Elizabethtown College added more "high-demand" majors and masters, including a Physician Assistant program and a Master’s degree in Music Education.

In undergraduate programs, its added majors in marketing, finance, criminal justice, data analytics, new concentrations in engineering, and restructured majors in communications.

Elizabethtown College has an entire page on its website dedicated to whats being called its "realignment plan".

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