Bridgewater College votes to cut majors, programs, and jobs

Bridgewater College votes to cut majors, programs, and jobs
Bridgewater College (Source: WHSV)

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) — On Friday, Nov. 6, the Bridgewater College Board of Trustees voted to phase out six academic majors, restructure two programs, and eliminate 40 jobs.

The majors that will be cut after this academic school year are applied chemistry, French, mathematics, nutritional science, philosophy and religion, and physics.

Abbie Parkhurst, spokesperson for Bridgewater College, said the college will make sure students currently enrolled in those studies will still receive their degree.

“We will make sure that they still have a pathway to graduate with a degree in that major from the college,” she said. “Even if they’re a freshman, the whole way through they will still be able to graduate with a particular degree.”

The college’s dance team will be phased out, but students can still participate in the program as a club. The equestrian program will also be restructured with the college eventually selling its facility located in Weyers Cave.

Along with the areas of study and programs being cut, 40 staff members will also be let go by the end of July. Parkhurst said those faculty members affected have already been notified of the potential of losing their job.

Back in October, the senior administrative team at Bridgewater College put forward recommendations to increase and decrease resources in certain areas and departments of the school.

According to the college, this was not a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, but something that had been in the process for more than a year.

“Universities all over the place are making drastic reactionary cuts right now because of COVID,” Parkhurst said. “So, we were fortunate that we already had this in place and we were able to do it in a much strategic way.”

The strategic resource allocation was part of the college’s strategic plan which was approved in 2018. A task force made up of faculty and staff reviewed every academic and support program at the school.

The task force determined what programs should receive additional resources, reduced resources, and possible phase-outs.

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