Nearly 20 academic programs at Bradley considered for discontinuation

Faculty jobs are being eliminated as well.
A decision will be made by the end of the year.
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 11:40 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2023 at 6:19 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEORIA (25News Now) - A number of programs at Bradley University may be coming to an end.

In an email to Bradley staff sent Monday morning, Bradley University President Stephen Standifird says 17 programs are being considered for discontinuation:

  • 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

Standifird says a number of other programs may be discontinued as majors or concentrations, but classes would remain:

  • Economics
  • French
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics

In his email, Standifird says nearly 25% of the university’s programs account for more than 75% of student enrollment - a path that is “simply not viable.”

The changes would directly impact around 3.5% of currently enrolled students. Affected students would be able to finish their degree in their current major or program.

47 currently occupied faculty positions are being eliminated. 21 faculty positions are being eliminated through attrition.

This comes as the university finds ways to cut $13 million from its budget to start the 2024 fiscal year after announcing financial challenges in July.

The $13 million represents nearly 10% of its operating budget and represents a structural imbalance.

The financial challenges include lower-than-expected enrollment numbers, changes in the economic climate and increasing operational costs.

“This is really hard,” begins John Nielsen, the Vice President of the American Association of University Professors, “they are trying to cut 66-70% by cutting from us and we generate all the revenue for the university. We are the engine.”

Standifird says the cuts are necessary, “one of the things we started doing is tracking the trend lines of our program for the last five years and it’s been a very data-driven process from day one.”

Standifird says when it comes to job loss, “we will continue to honor contracts that exist today. For those faculty that are involved in those programs that have an opportunity to teach other students through that process but unfortunately yes this will result in a reduction in faculty at the university.”

In his email announcing the cuts, Standfird says he “understands this process is unsettling” and these steps are necessary for “long-term viability and success’ of the school.