University blames ‘unprecedented fiscal, societal and political challenges’
Low-enrollment degrees at Miami University need to adapt or die, according to a memo from school officials.
Majors in “social justice, “critical race and ethnic studies” and “art history” are among those that must adapt their offerings in order to survive. The Oxford, Ohio university is facing a $36 million budget deficit.
Students are generally not interested in majors in these programs, according to five-year averages pulled from university data. For example, the critical race major has averaged 2.6 graduates in the past five years.
“Miami University is facing unprecedented fiscal, societal and political challenges that are prompting very difficult decisions about our curriculum,” a document from university officials stated, according to The Miami Student. “Tragically, we no longer have the resources to support the current portfolio of academic programs, particularly our lowest-enrolled degree programs or majors.”
The newspaper reported:
Along with [Latin American Studies], 16 other majors were identified as low-enrolled. These include American studies, art history, critical race and ethnic studies, classical studies, French, French education, German, German education, health communication, health information technology, Italian studies, Latin education, religion, Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, Spanish education and social justice.
The four options presented to survive are transitioning to a “minor or certificate program,” “propose and offer creative and exciting new courses or other learning opportunities,” combine multiple majors into one or create a “joint” “super” major degree, according to the student paper.
Miami University is not the only school to struggle to attract interest in its CRT and identity-based programming.
St. Joe’s University in Philadelphia had to mandate its diversity course due to low enrollment. A College Fix analysis in 2021 found that black studies degrees accounted for only .1 percent of all University of California system graduates.