AKRON—The University of Akron is cutting almost 20 percent of its degrees and degree tracks.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the changes that grew out of the university's recent academic program review at its meeting Aug. 15.
About 965 students are enrolled in the affected programs, which the university said is less than 5 percent of the student population. Enrollment for fall 2018 is not yet available, but it was about 22,100 in fall 2017.
In addition to phasing out less viable degrees—such as a master's in sociology or a bachelor's in interior design—the University of Akron also plans to invest in the programs it does see success in, such as cybersecurity and polymer science.
The academic program review began in fall 2017 at the department level and included input from faculty. A strategic planning process is expected to begin this fall.
Eighty of the university's 414 degrees or degree tracks—specialized concentrations within particular degrees—will be discontinued, according to the university. Students enrolled in the programs being phased out will be able to complete their degrees, but admission to those programs has stopped.
In total, the university will phase out 10 doctorate programs, 33 master's degree programs, 20 bachelor's degree programs and 17 associate's degree programs.
No "regular faculty, contract professionals or staff positions" were expected to be eliminated because of these programs ending, according to a university fact sheet.
Moving foward, the university plans invest in areas such as polymer and chemical sciences; health and biosciences; cybersecurity; criminal justice and emergency services; performing arts; digital communication; and business, law and education.