IPFW students, staff and faculty protest degree cuts

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – IPFW is cutting a handful of degree programs and Wednesday students, staff, and faculty protested that decision. Dozens of protesters came out to stand up for degree programs and majors facing cuts.

“I consider this to be an attack on liberal arts education. There’s no other way to see it,” French Professor Nancy Virtue said.

Under the reconstruction plan called USAP, individual degree programs of French, Geology, German, Philosophy and Women’s Studies will be eliminated. Plus a handful of majors and graduate programs will also be cut. Declining enrollment and financial struggles are said to be the top two reasons why. But many disagree.

“Last year we graduated with the largest class of majors that we’ve had in our history,” Janet Badia, Professor and Director of Women’s Studies, said.

Even some outside of the programs being dropped aren’t in favor of the decision.

“This directly impacts my decision to continue coming here. It will also directly impact the efficacy of business graduates to go out into the community and be the best leaders we can be,” Accounting Major, Andy Semler, said.

“Cutting them will have a profound impact on not just the college but the community around it,” November Kelly said. Kelly doesn’t go to IPFW and was there in support of Semler, her husband.

Chancellor Vicki Carwein says it wasn’t an easy decision, and understands people are upset.

“It’s difficult but that’s part of the job and I understand that people need to have a focus for their anger and at the moment that focus is me,” she said.

She says if you have a better recommendation, please share.

“Everything is on the table to be looked at and if there are individuals who have an alternative struggle that they’d like to put forward I think that vice chancellor Drummond would look at it and would consider it,” Carwein said.

The protest continues tomorrow.