BATON ROUGE LA – Actions by the Board of Regents today impacted the status of more than 400 academic programs at risk for termination as a result of a recent low-completer review. In the decision, UL will lose 5 undergraduate programs, and the doctoral program in Cognitive Sciences. Another 23 programs will be consolidated into other degrees.

The Regents’ vote effected, in different ways, 88% of the 456 programs identified in January as "low-completer" in an effort to streamline degree offerings in the state, including 109 programs that will be shut down.

"These program terminations and consolidations represent a specific effort by Regents to evaluate and make changes to our academic offerings across the state and undoubtedly demonstrate our commitment to better efficiency in the delivery of our services," said Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell. "This is just the beginning of the process and I expect we will next review our offerings through a regional lens to determine whether we’re meeting the needs of students, employers and the workforce for both the short and long-term."

"I hope we continue to stay focused on what it is we do as a board—policy and budget," said Regent Charlotte Bollinger. "Graduation matters and I believe these consolidations are efficient, effective and in the end, serve students well. This is exactly where we need to be right now in Louisiana," she emphasized.

As established by the state constitution, the Board of Regents periodically reviews degree programs provided by the state’s postsecondary institutions and recommends those that should be continued, consolidated or eliminated. Low-completer reviews use multiple years of student graduation data to measure productivity. The academic years used for this review were 2007-2010. Notably, this particular low-completer review relied upon a stricter set of standards than has been used in the past. The increased standards included a closer review based on average completion rates over a period of three years, down from five years in the past, the inclusion of ALL programs with no exclusions, as well as analysis of duplication and institutional mission.

The criteria for identification as a "low-completer" program in January were:

  • Undergraduate Programs-Fewer than 8 completers per year or less than 24 graduates within 3 years.
  • Masters/Specialist Programs- Fewer than 5 completers per year or less than 15 graduates within 3 years.
  • Doctoral Programs-Fewer than 2 completers per year or less than 6 graduates within 3 years.

Each system and campus identified as having "low-completer" programs had until the end of February to respond to the Board of Regents with a recommended course of action. Campuses that chose to defend a program for continuation or consolidation had to address how potential savings might be reinvested as well as how the program fits within their mission, especially if there was duplication of the program by another institution in the state.

Regents’ staff performed a thorough and collaborative analysis of the system/campus responses in making their final decisions. Their work focused on a comprehensive review of all documents submitted demonstrating the likelihood of a program’s future success including data/projections, state/regional program inventories and regional workforce impacts. The final recommendations approved by the board resulted in the following actions:

  • Terminations-109
  • Consolidations-17
  • Consolidation & Termination-172
  • Conditional Maintenance-107
  • Maintenance-51

Termination means the program will be cancelled on the curriculum inventory and currently enrolled students in the major will be given an opportunity to complete the degree or transfer to another program.
Consolidation means at least one other program will be brought into an existing major as a concentration.
Consolidation & Termination means the program will be cancelled on the curriculum inventory of programs and instead, become part of a new or different major.
Conditional Maintenance means the program demonstrated a likelihood of success or reasonably predicted an increase in graduates. These programs have two years to show improvement and will submit annual progress reports.
Maintenance means staff identified no significant concerns for continued program relevance or productivity and no further monitoring is required.

"These program terminations and consolidations were tough decisions, especially in the review of foreign languages," said Board of Regents Chairman Bob Levy. "What we discovered is that in today’s global economy students are taking foreign languages but they are not majoring in them. We believe the data clearly shows that we can protect student access to foreign language courses so they can complete their desired degree programs without having to support an entire program that has very few graduates."

Below are the decisions affecting UL.  An overview can be found here, and a list of all decisions can be found here.

Program Level Request Fate Completers
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE BS T T 23-17-16-18-13
AGRICULTURAL EDUC GR 6-12 BS T T 1-0-2-0-0
FAMILY/CONSMR SCI ED GR 6-12 BS T T 1-0-0-1-0
TECHNOL/IND ARTS ED GR 6-12 BS T T 0-0-0-0-0
COGNITIVE SCIENCE PHD T T 1-1-1-2-3
FASHION DESIGN & MERCHANDISING BS T T 26-18-23-28-27
ART EDUC GR K-12 BA C C+T 3-3-2-2-1
BUSINESS EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-2-2-2-0
ENGLISH EDUC GR 6-12 BA C C+T 14-22-7-3-2
MATHEMATICS EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 2-0-3-1-0
MUSIC ED-INSTRUMENTL GR K-12 BME C C+T 2-2-2-4-0
MUSIC ED-VOCAL GR K-12 BME C C+T 2-0-2-0-1
GENERAL SCIENCE ED GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-1-0-0-0
S0CIAL STUDIES ED GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-0-0-0-0
BIOLOGY EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 5-6-2-2-0
CHEMISTRY EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-0-0-0-0
FRENCH EDUC GR 6-12 BA C C+T 0-2-0-0-0
GERMAN EDUC GR 6-12 BA C C+T 0-0-0-0-0
PHYSICS EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-0-0-0-0
SPANISH EDUC GR 6-12 BA C C+T 0-1-0-0-0
SPEECH EDUC GR 6-12 BS C C+T 3-1-2-0-0
EARTH SCIENCE ED GR 6-12 BS C C+T 0-0-0-0-0
ENGINEERING - CHEMICAL MSE C C+T 8-9-6-8-12
ENGINEERING - CIVIL MSE C C+T 5-8-8-8-2
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MSTC C C+T 19-19-8-7-15
ENGINEERING - MECHANICAL MSE C C+T 7-11-2-5-8
ENGINEERING - PETROLEUM MSE C C+T 24-12-4-6-3
MICROBIOLOGY BS C C+T 0-3-7-1-6
RESOURCE BIOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY BS C C+T 5-4-2-4-9
PHYSICS BS M CM 1-4-7-1-1
PHYSICS MS M CM 3-3-3-2-1
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION PMC M CM 1-0-0-0-0
ECONOMICS / BUS ECON BS M CM 4-2-9-3-4
MODERN LANGUAGES BA M C 5-10-3-9-6
ATHLETIC TRAINING BS M M 6-12-3-15-7

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