Dear Colleagues,
This is to update you on the Academic Programs Analysis that has been conducted under the Operational Sustainability Review underway at Valpo since last summer.  
I noted at last month’s Town Hall that the data we collected over the past six months shows that we have too many majors, minors, and graduate programs for the number of students and faculty that we have. We must address this issue if we are to build on Valpo’s long tradition of excellence, strengthen our financial foundation, and continue to provide our students with the best possible college experience.  

As the next step in this ongoing process, earlier today the Deans informed the Department Chairs or Program Directors that the following academic programs are being considered for possible discontinuance.The discontinuance process is a thoughtful review process and there are several potential outcomes. Not all programs that go through the process may be eliminated, and discontinuing a program does not mean we will not continue to teach courses in that area. Required general education courses and other elective courses will still be taught based on student demand. 

Actuarial Science Major and Minor
Statistics Major and Applied Statistics Minor
Economics and Computer Analysis Major
Public and Professional Writing Major and Minor
German Major
Spanish Major
Global Studies Major: All Concentrations
Bachelor of Music: All Concentrations
Music Therapy Major and Certificate
Astronomy Major and Minor
International Relations Major and Minor
Theology Major and Minor
Theology and Ministry Major and Minor
Philosophy Major and Minor
Complementary Humanities Major
International Business Major and International Business and Global Studies Minor
Supply Chain and Logistics Management Major and Minor
Public Health Major
Digital Media
Sports Media
English Studies and Communication
Initial Licensure - Elementary Education
Educational and Psychological Foundations
Nurse Educator
Public Health: No Concentration
Public Health: Global Health

These are important decisions, and the University takes them seriously.  The programs were identified after careful examination of several factors, first and foremost low current enrollment and enrollment trends. Other metrics considered were Student Credit Hours per Full Time Equivalent Faculty (SCHs/FTE), Direct Contribution Margin (DCM), and market data both from peers and the government. A compilation of this and other data across the University was shared in detail at the December Town Hall.
We also looked closely at each program’s service to other Valpo programs, and how to maintain institutional offerings that would continue the tradition of being a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts to the fullest extent possible. For these qualitative factors, in particular, I would like to acknowledge the University Deans and faculty members on the special Working Group who have met regularly over the past six weeks and provided input to my office as decisions were being made.  
Our goal is to provide as much visibility as possible into what’s ahead and what to expect.  Possible outcomes of the discontinuance process are:
  • Program continues at the current level of activity with specific action (i.e., the program will continue to exist, but there are recommended changes to it)
  • Development of a cooperative program (i.e., potentially merging one or more programs together to create a new program / curriculum)
  • Discontinue the program (i.e., program will no longer exist after a teach out is completed)
Programs with enrollments under the median (25) of all our programs that are not put into the discontinuance process will be given an improvement plan to work on over the next two years, and then be re-evaluated. In addition, starting this fall, we will initiate a continuous improvement process through which all academic programs will perform an annual analysis using a common set of metrics, and will receive and collaborate on recommendations to implement program modifications moving forward.
A timeline for the process has been developed and final program decisions will be made by the beginning of the fall 2024 semester. All Department Chairs or Program Directors with listed programs will be provided with data and a framework for their response, which is to be submitted to their respective Dean by April 30, 2024. They will also have the opportunity to work with my office if they have questions about the process or their response.
If all of the listed undergraduate programs were discontinued, approximately 3% of Valpo’s current student population would be impacted.  An important note:  All current students in the proposed programs will be able to complete their degrees at Valpo uninterrupted, and the University will be in direct communication with them individually as appropriate.  
Not all program changes or eliminations will cause faculty reductions and, similar to how our current students may be affected, the potential impact on faculty positions is expected to be very limited. Unfortunately, we do anticipate a limited reduction of faculty positions in some departments, after the discontinuance process is completed and following any necessary teach out.  A teach out is a multi-year process and we expect it would conclude at the end of the 2026-27 academic year.
Rigorous academic program analysis is not only happening here at Valpo, but on many college and university campuses across the country. This work and the decisions we are required to make, to remain an energized, thriving university, are not easy. But institutions like ours must be proactive in reviewing our academic portfolios and making adjustments that will meet our students' needs to lead successful lives in an increasingly challenging world.  
While we continue to evaluate our current academic portfolio, we must also investigate and develop new market-driven programs that will attract students. As an example, we have just received approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to launch a Masters in Social Work program this fall. The Valpo Connect strategic initiative will also provide a framework to further develop interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs. Moving forward, the student experience should remain at the forefront of all of our efforts. We should continue to be at the leading edge of teaching pedagogy within and across disciplines focused on innovation and excellence. Where we can, we should also place a renewed emphasis on student-centered research that will provide impactful experiential learning experiences for our students across campus.
Thank you for your partnership as we move forward. 
Eric W. Johnson, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost

219.464.5310 - Kretzmann Hall, 1700 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493 USA -
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