UNK recommends cutting nine degree programs, over 20 faculty positions

Nov. 20, 2023, 4 a.m. ·

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UNK is ranked No. 2 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Value Schools,” recognizing its academic quality and affordable tuition. (UNK Communications)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced proposed budget cuts on Monday to help address a $58 million university-wide budget shortfall.

Nine degrees will be discontinued, pending Board of Regents approval, including:

  • Business Intelligence Emphasis in Business Administration BS
  • Geography B.S./B.A.
  • Geography and GIScience B.S.
  • Geography 7-12 Teaching Subject Endorsement B.A.
  • Musical Theater B.M.
  • Recreation Management B.S.
  • Recreation, Outdoor and Event Management B.S.
  • Theater B.A.

According to a press release, these award fewer than seven degrees a year, which does not meet the state’s standard.

Students currently enrolled in these majors will be able to finish their degree.

Over 20 faculty positions will be eliminated by May 2025, including roles that are already vacant or have someone retiring. Impacted departments include:

  • Theater
  • English
  • Music
  • Communication
  • Cyber Systems
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Modern Languages
  • Art and Design
  • History
  • Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Montessori Early Childhood
  • Philosophy
  • Physics and Astronomy

In the press release, Chancellor Doug Kristensen said these changes were decided on after a comprehensive review of degree programs.

“These are undoubtedly challenging times, but we are taking decisive action to position UNK for the future,” Kristensen said in the release.

In October, UNK students and faculty protested these budget cuts.

The chancellors at the four University of Nebraska campuses are conducting zero-based budget reviews that are due to NU president Ted Carter on Dec. 1. These reviews include further reductions across the university.