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Six academic programs cut at Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University

in New Hampshire announced it will stop offering degrees in six academic programs, The Sentinel reported.

The private institution will no longer offer majors or minors in American studies, theater and dance, graphic communications, fine arts, math, and arts management. The announcement comes several weeks after a report evaluating the university “outlined significant financial strains,” The Sentinel reported.

As of May 2013, the university had a total long-term debt of $43.3 million, the large majority of which stems from infrastructure projects in the 1990s.

The university’s spokeswoman Lisa Murray told reporters the cuts weren’t a direct response to money challenges, but that the university had to be financially responsible with its programming. In a prepared statement, the university said the changes would allow the university to “attract, retain and prepare students for the personal and professional futures that await them.”

The Sentinel reported that full-time faculty in the affected departments will be reassigned to teach in other areas and all students currently enrolled in those departments will be able to complete their majors.

The university will not allow new entrants into the affected programs after May 2016.

Students and alumni of the private institution said they were very disappointed in the program cuts.

Audrey Kimball, a 2009 graduate who has a theatre degree with a concentration in tech and design, said she didn’t understand why the arts took such a big hit in the cuts.

“Liberal arts colleges, it should be a no-brainer that they have theater programs,” she said.

Third-year student Brennan Whalen said he was upset because the decision was made without student’s consent or without any warning.

“The way they went about doing this is really unprofessional and doesn’t reflect well on the university,” he said.

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