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Board of Governors approves academic prioritization plan

ISSUED: 10 November 2023
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — In a unanimous vote, the Shepherd University Board of Governors approved the academic prioritization plan put forward by Shepherd’s Academic Affairs leadership during the November 9 meeting. This plan includes the elimination of five degree programs and eight minors or concentrations as part of the University’s fiscal rightsizing efforts.

Programs that will be discontinued include the Master of Science in data analytics and information systems and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in nutrition. The B.S. in computer and information technology, B.S. in computer engineering, and B.S. in data analytics will also be discontinued, but curriculum will be configured into one degree, a B.S. in computer and information sciences with concentrations in cybersecurity and information science.

Although these specific degree programs are being discontinued, instructional content for these important areas will continue as part of other existing programs across campus.

Teach-out plans for each program will be implemented following common national standards. Additionally, 12 other programs are directed to undertake specific efficiency improvement measures.

Photo of Board of Governors meeting November 9 2023 in the Storer Ballroom

Approval by the Board of Governors completes a five-month process of analyzing academic priorities and implementing measures that continue to improve the University’s fiscal position.

Discontinuing the programs is expected to lead to the elimination of 13 faculty positions, some in the 2024-2025 academic year and some in the following year. Combined with previous measures implemented at Shepherd, the University will have achieved approximately $5 million in base budget adjustments toward its $6 million goal.

Before the Board began to address these program decisions, Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix expressed appreciation to the campus community for its extraordinary commitment to the vitality and future of the University in undertaking such a difficult self-assessment.

“Collectively, we performed this herculean task of academic prioritization with institutional leaders. We own this,” she told the Board and the large audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members who attended the meeting.

After joining in the unanimous approval of the program directives, Board of Governors Chair Gat Caperton said “Shepherd remains committed to its core values and providing students with world-class, highly marketable education grounded in the liberal arts. Please join me in thanking the remarkable faculty and staff who make this happen in a real and personable way.”

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