Saint Mary’s University to phase out 11 majors, lay off staff

(ABC 6 News) – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota announced it will cut 11 academic programs and lay off more than a dozen staff as a way "to better position itself financially for long-term sustainability and success."

The university said it has decided to strategically phase out 11 under-enrolled majors over the next few years following a review of low-enrolled majors by academic administration and in consultation with designated groups of undergraduate faculty.

Employees and students were notified about the program changes on May 10.

“The time to re-envision our future is now,” said Father James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., Saint Mary’s president. “Higher education is experiencing major disruption, exacerbated by the pandemic and declining number of high school students. In this climate, few schools can continue business as usual.”

Undergraduate programs to be phased out over the next several years include:

  1. Actuarial Science
  2. Art
  3. English
  4. History
  5. Human Services
  6. International Business
  7. Music
  8. Music Industry
  9. Spanish
  10. Theatre
  11. Theology

Students currently enrolled in these programs will be able to complete their degrees and will be offered the appropriate planning and guidance to do so. Incoming students in these programs will have the option to begin their program, often along an accelerated path, or they can explore other academic programs to fulfill their career and personal goals.

Thirteen full-time faculty members will be affected by the changes beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. The university said the advanced planning will provide a transition for students and faculty.