Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gallaudet University closing 17 programs

From The Washington Post:

In another round of academic restructuring, Gallaudet University announced this week the elimination of 17 of its 99 academic programs in the name of "strategic resource allocation."

Among the programs to be axed by 2013: bachelor degrees in French, international government and computer science, master degrees in deaf history and administration and a doctorate in special education administration, along with minors in art history, French, German, women's studies, religion and (!) journalism.

Gallaudet is the nation's premiere university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

A 14-member task force had spent most of a year reviewing all Gallaudet programs. Those to be cut will be phased out over time, so as to accommodate current students, according to a university release.

Gallaudet is following the same path as Howard University, whose academic renewal process garnered considerable attention this winter.

A second review of non-academic programs is also under way at Gallaudet, and some parents are concerned that it may result in closure of the university's summer camp program, the Children's Instructional Summer Program. The program serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

In a letter defending the camp, parent Julie Morris wrote, "No other camp offers such a wide range of engaging activities along with this key component: mixed hearing, hard of hearing and deaf cultures. It's that component that makes this camp so special."

A decision on the camp will be made in mid-March, according to Gallaudet spokeswoman Mercy Coogan.