Newman University announces academic changes for 2024-25

Oct 25, 2023
Newman University campus

Newman University has announced a continuation of restructuring its academic offerings for fall 2024 that began last year with the launch of 10 new academic programs.

In a strategic effort to realign educational offerings with changing student trends, market forces and emerging industry demands, Newman University has taken the necessary step to discontinue eight undergraduate majors for the 2024-25 academic year. The majors are English, finance, history, marketing, math, philosophy, social work and theater.

This decision follows a comprehensive review process involving faculty, administrative personnel, board members and external educational consultants. Despite the rich history and contributions of these programs, the realignment is essential to maintain a commitment to academic excellence and to ensure the sustainability and relevance of Newman’s academic portfolio.

While Newman remains steadfast in its purpose to deliver high-quality education and to prepare students for dynamic career paths, these updates reflect a continued proactive approach to meet the evolving needs of our students and community.

Newman University President Kathleen Jagger, Ph.D., MPH
Newman University President Kathleen Jagger, Ph.D., MPH

“It is never easy to make these decisions, but we can’t responsibly ignore market forces,” President Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, said. “Our faculty represent the heart of Newman, playing an integral role in shaping our institution and guiding our students towards a brighter future. And, while such decisions are challenging, we are fully committed to supporting affected faculty and students during this transition.”

Faculty impacted by the realignment have been notified that their current contracts will not be extended beyond the current academic year which ends in May. In addition, a compensation package has been offered to affected individuals. 

Students who have declared a major or minor that is being discontinued will be able to complete their course of study at Newman and maintain their eligibility and financial aid

“Newman will always fulfill the commitments we have made to our students,” Jagger added.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Alden Stout wants students to know if they have questions or concerns there are resources available. 

“If you are wondering about how this decision may personally impact you, please reach out to your academic adviser or visit the Academic Affairs office on the third floor of Sacred Heart Hall. We are here to support you throughout this transition and ensure that your academic journey continues smoothly,” Stout said. 

All Newman students, faculty and staff have been informed of the upcoming changes to the academic offerings. The academic update does not directly impact staff.  

Although the university will cease offering some programs, Newman is also responding to changing student needs through expanded academic offerings. In 2023-24, Newman developed and implemented 10 new programs including undergraduate majors in agribusiness, computer science, digital design and adult and professional studies. Additionally, graduate degrees were added in biomedical science, business administration, data science, online social work and education

On the horizon, Newman will consider new interdisciplinary options to enhance its highly personalized education so students can tailor their experiences for their exact passions and career paths.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

  1. Will courses in English, math, finance, history, marketing, theater, social work and philosophy be offered at Newman University? Yes. While the majors will no longer be available for new students beginning in 2024-25, current students will be able to continue their discipline through graduation. Courses in these core education areas will still be part of every student’s education at Newman University. Additionally, full-time faculty have been retained to teach in these areas.
  2. What does this mean for students currently enrolled in these majors? Students currently enrolled in these majors can continue to take classes within their major and graduate from Newman. Eligibility and financial aid are not impacted and students can graduate on time. Newman is committed to supporting students to complete their course of study on time for graduation.
  3. What does this mean for the seminarians studying the philosophy of theological studies? Nothing changes for the seminarians. The philosophy of theological studies degree is strong and will continue and is approved by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. All Newman students can take this major if they’re interested in obtaining a philosophy degree. Two non-seminarian students graduated from the program last May.
  4. Will theater performances still be held? What will happen to funds from donors that were allocated to fine arts? Yes, theater and music performances are an important part of the student experience at Newman.
  5. If contracts for affected professors aren’t being extended beyond May, how are students expected to finish out their degrees? Full-time faculty are retained in each area along with adjunct faculty. Students with questions should contact their academic adviser.
  6. How was the decision-making process made?  A thorough faculty-approved review process involving faculty, administrative personnel, board members and external education consultants was conducted over the past several months. The prioritization process revealed a change in what students, employers and the communities need and want, so is imperative that Newman University changes with them. After careful consideration as well as analyzing current academic offerings and future projections, the study resulted in the decision to discontinue eight majors for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year.

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