Hiram College’s Statement on the Approved Academic Redesign
May 30, 2018
On May 30, 2018, Dr. Lori Varlotta, president of Hiram College; and Dr. Judy Muyskens, the Interim Dean of Hiram College, presented a series of recommendations regarding the academic redesign to the Board of Trustees.
The recommendations presented to the trustees were led by the Strategic Academic Team and shaped substantially by feedback from the faculty-at-large and from two primary faculty shared governance committees: the Academic Program Committee (APC) and the Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee (ATP) as required by the Hiram College Faculty Handbook.
The trustees voted unanimously to approve the addition of the following majors for fall 2018:
- Criminal Justice
- International Studies
- Sport Management
In addition, the trustees approved studying the feasibility of adding the following programs for fall 2019 or beyond.
- Data Analytics major or minor
- Computer Engineering or another Engineering major (in addition to our 3+2 Engineering programs)
- Gaming and Interactive Media
- Information Technology/Information Systems
After deliberation, the trustees also voted unanimously to approve the following Academic Program Changes effective for Fall 2018 and beyond:
- The Arts – Stand-alone majors and/or minors in Studio Art, Art History, Music, and Theater Arts will be discontinued in their current form. In place of these stand-alone majors, two new art/music-related programs will be introduced this fall. One will emphasize music and theater and the other will emphasize art, film, and digital design. The actual names and specific concentrations of the majors and minors will be finalized over the next month, once faculty provide additional input.
- Religious Studies – Religious Studies department, major, and minor will be discontinued. Religious Studies courses will still be offered as part of the academic liberal arts core.
- Economics, Mathematics, Modern Languages (Majors in French and Spanish), and Philosophy will exist as minors but not as majors.
Current students in the affected majors will be able to complete their major degree programs as guaranteed by the academic catalog year in which they entered Hiram.
The trustees voted and unanimously approved the recommended faculty position eliminations. As stated throughout this process and in the initial Recommendations, it is difficult to recommend the elimination of any faculty positions.
We have worked diligently and creatively to minimize the number of faculty positions being eliminated. The program changes detailed above will result in the elimination of six faculty positions:
- Two tenured faculty will be eliminated: one in music; one in religious studies.
- Two tenure-track faculty will be eliminated: one in Philosophy; one in English.
- One Renewable Contract faculty member will be eliminated in Accounting/Financial Management.
- One Visiting Faculty member will be eliminated in Mathematics.
The faculty eliminations are based on data that includes (but is not limited to) the following: program eliminations and changes; the number of graduates in existing programs over the course of several years; the numbers of current and past students taking such courses as part of their major, core, or elective requirements; the interests defined by prospective students in the enrollment funnel; and regional and national workforce demands.
We are confident that the changes approved by the Trustees will lay the groundwork for strengthening our academic offerings, attracting and retaining students, and preparing graduates not only to understand, but to help address the urgent challenges of our time.