Academic and Student Affairs: Fewer degree programs, more students

By Ali Braboy

The Academic an Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees met Wednesday to discuss increased enrollment, program elimination and faculty appointments.

Increased Enrollment

Christophe Pierre, vice president for academic affairs, said the increased University enrollment and record-size freshman class is “good news.” The increases were announced by the University Tuesday. In Urbana, Chicago and Springfield combined, 76,166 are enrolled in the University. The count does not include all graduate, professional and online students, and University officials anticipate the number will reach 79,000 once all students are accounted for, according to a University press release sent Tuesday.

President Timothy Killeen said numbers are good, but faculty should remember this could mean more work.

“We have to do our part, I think, in administration, and I look forward to recognize that those classes need to be managed well,” he said. “And that the overall student experience does not diminish because of the numbers,” Killeen said.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Program Elimination

    Seven degree programs may be eliminated on the University campus, Provost Designate Edward Feser announced Wednesday. 

    Feser also said one program will be merged with another, and 33 will be further reviewed. He said the programs will not be eliminated immediately, and there is no timeline for their elimination. Instead, it will be gradual so students currently enrolled in the programs are able to graduate.

    He said the decision to eliminate the programs was made by different University colleges because of a limited number of students in each program. The Board will vote on the proposal at its meeting Thursday in Urbana.


    Though they have been in their roles for at least a week, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson officially recommended two new faculty appointments which the board will vote on Thursday.

    Wilson recommended Feser to serve as the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. She said the recommendation is based on consultations with deans, faculty and students across the campus.  

    Wilson also recommended Kathleen Harleman, director of Krannert Art Museum, as the acting dean of Fine and Applied Arts. Finally, she recommended Bill Cubit to serve as the interim head varsity football coach.

    Athletic Director Mike Thomas said the mood of the team is tremendous, “partly because they have a lot of confidence and appreciation for Coach Cubit.”