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Proposed program cuts laid out to Bradley University faculty and students

The Bradley University campus was wrapped in a blanket of snow on Nov. 15, 2022. The expected blizzard-like conditions and bitterly cold temperatures of this week's storm promise to look a little less idyllic.
Tim Shelley
The Bradley University administration has attributed the need for cuts to lower-than-expected enrollment numbers, changes in the economic climate, and increasing operational costs.

Bradley University president Stephen Standifird says 17 programs are being considered for discontinuation.

Five other subjects would be cut as majors or concentrations, but classes would still be offered.

Faculty and students received emails Monday outlining the proposal. A University Senate-appointed faculty review committee, university deans, and the provost began reviewing programs soon after the university announced a $13 million operational deficit, and a need to cut 10% of costs.

More than once, the university administration has attributed the need for cuts to lower-than-expected enrollment numbers, changes in the economic climate, and increasing operational costs — and that other institutions around the country are undergoing similar challenges.

Standifird said the changes will impact about 3.5% of the current student population. Forty-seven faculty positions would be cut, in addition to 21 eliminated through attrition. He said he will make all final decisions before the end of the current semester.

He said affected department chairs have 30 days to respond to the recommendations.

“At the core of everything we're doing today and moving forward is what's best for Bradley and what's best for Bradley students," said Standifird in a prepared statement. "So, while these adjustments are very painful as we go through it, I feel confident this is the way we best serve the students of today and tomorrow.”

Faculty leadership believed up to a third of tenured and tenure-track positions would be cut. The 68 positions up for elimination are less than a third, though sources say there are still fears of additional cuts among the faculty.

Standifird said all current students in those programs would be able to finish out their degrees at Bradley.

The programs recommended for discontinuation are:

  • Actuarial Science (Mathematics)
  • Apparel Production and Merchandising
  • Business Law
  • Ceramics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Family Consumer Science Education
  • Family Life Science
  • Hospitality Leadership
  • International Studies
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Math Education
  • Pre-K – 12 Administration and Leadership
  • Printmaking
  • Professional Sales
  • Public Health Education
  • Religious Studies
  • Statistics

The programs recommended to no longer be majors or concentrations, but still offering classes as part of the core curriculum or other courses are:

  • Economics
  • French
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics

An actuarial science degree will continue to be offered in the Foster College of Business, and co-curricular entrepreneurship opportunities will continue to be offered through the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.