Loss of four degree programs won't hurt VSU

·2 min read

Sep. 16—VALDOSTA — Four degree programs were officially cut from Valdosta State University's lineup last week, but there will be, effectively, zero impact on the university.

On Sept. 8, the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia ordered 215 programs at 18 state colleges and universities discontinued.

The reason? In a statement, the board said all the programs cut had already been "deactivated" for at least two years and either had no students in them or any remaining students had been advised of their options.

At Valdosta State, the four cut programs had not had students in them for years, one for as far back as 2004, said Jessica Pope, communications and media relations coordinator for the school, in a statement.

The canceled programs at VSU are:

— Bachelor of science in nursing for students who come to VSU with an RN from another school. The program has been inactive since 2010.

— Master of education in secondary education and master of education in reading education, both of which have not had any students since 2016.

— Master of music education, which has not been in operation since 2004.

Statewide, the University of Georgia took the most cuts of dead programs, with 43 degree paths dropped. Georgia State University was second with 28 canceled programs and Augusta University third with 26.

In addition, four more programs, including online projects, were ordered canceled at other schools where there was a partnership arrangement with VSU. These are:

— B.A., legal assistant studies (a collaboration with Albany State);

— B.S., office of administration and technology (a collaboration with Albany State);

— B.A., French language and literature (an eMajor with College of Coastal Georgia); and

— B.A., Spanish language and literature (an eMajor with College of Coastal Georgia).

These programs have not been deactivated at VSU, Pope said.

In a recent video, Richard Carvajal, VSU's president, said a long-expected downturn in student enrollment is forcing a rethink of priorities.

"Continuing to push for a sustained level of excellence for our on-campus traditional experience does not mean that we can or should continue providing everything that we have traditionally offered," he said.

Adjusting to the new needs of students may require "that we make reductions in some areas or shift resources away from other areas that today's students consider less critical," Carvajal said.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton not only escaped the blade but recently was approved for two new bachelor's degree programs, said Chris Beckham, ABAC's public relations director.

The new programs — agricultural technology management and criminal justice — give ABAC 14 bachelor's degree programs, he said.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.