The review of academic programs is one that many colleges, not just Hood, should undergo periodically to assess program viability and to identify modifications intended to strengthen them. A portfolio of 33 academic majors and 50 minors is difficult to sustain at a college the size of Hood. By sunsetting programs that do not attract significant numbers of students, we will be able to invest in both existing and new programs that are in line with evolving student interests and industry needs, and consistent with the institution’s strategic goals.
The College is not in a state of financial trouble and we will continually strive to be good stewards of our student’s tuition dollars
Institutions periodically need to re-evaluate their academic offerings. These shifts are always in response to student needs, as well as an ever-changing professional marketplace. Hood is a healthy, thriving institution and these changes will help better serve the needs of our students and their future success.
The College is committed to ensuring that all current students can graduate with their intended degree.
For the majors being eliminated, there are a combined total of five students currently enrolled. These students will be able to complete their degree as planned. Also, several of the courses will continue to be offered as part of the core or other academic programs. There are no students currently enrolled in the minors being eliminated.
PBAC developed a consistent criteria for academic program review (less than five graduates over three years for majors; zero in 2016-17 for minors).
Programs retained on a conditional status must develop an action plan, in consultation with the provost, and will be reassessed in the 2022-23 academic year.
Unfortunately, some faculty will be affected by these curricular changes. Because of our commitment that all students in an affected major can graduate with their intended degree, existing faculty may continue to teach in the affected programs of study for a number of years. At this point we are anticipating that retirements, voluntary separations (or people who leave for another position) and changes in non-tenure track faculty or visiting positions will be enough to align the areas of faculty expertise with student interest. The number of faculty positions eliminated could be a very small number, maybe even none. That is because religion, music and languages are not going away at Hood. Those faculty will teach fewer upper division specialty courses with only one or two students in them. Some of them will also teach in new majors.
Yes. There are faculty representatives on PBAC, who were involved throughout the resource allocation review process. The curriculum committee is made up of faculty and academic administration. The restructuring committee, an all-elected faculty body, will also play a role in providing advice for faculty positions impacted by these decisions.
As per our institutional by-laws and the Faculty Code, the Board of Trustees will evaluate the recommendations and related data, and vote on whether to approve them at their board meeting in June.
The College received unsolicited opinions that both advocated for and dissented from the proposed actions. These communications were reviewed carefully and thoughtfully, but because some part of this process needed to be done in a confidential manner, members of the Hood community at large could not participate in every step.
Absolutely. The suspension of any single major does not prevent us from maintaining our liberal arts status. The study of liberal arts is not exclusive to the humanities. No matter what the field of study, the goal of a liberal arts education at Hood is to create an individual whose education is robust and versatile. Students of liberal arts are expected to be knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, and to have developed skills that translate well to a variety of scenarios.
Absolutely not. Capital and operating budgets work in very different ways, with different sources of funding.
The resource allocation review process is about reallocating money from under-enrolled majors to over-enrolled majors and better supporting student needs. The choice to build a new residence hall and update the library into a learning commons is about meeting the needs and expectations of students considering a residential college experience. These projects are strategic and informed by data that indicate many students were not choosing Hood due to the quality of housing that they saw when visiting campus and to give our students a more vibrant learning environment.
Fewer majors will mean fewer under-enrolled upper-level courses. Resources will be allocated consistent with the College’s strategic priorities, including advising and experiential learning.