University of Lynchburg to Close 17 Academic Programs, 40 Staff Members Will Lose Jobs

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News May 30, 2024

University of Lynchburg

The University of Lynchburg, a private university in Virginia, announced on Thursday that it will close 17 academic programs, including 12 undergraduate and five graduate programs, over the next few years.

As a result, 40 members of staff will lose their jobs right away. Some of the reasons behind this decision are challenges that the higher education sector is facing, fewer young people attending college, financial issues and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports.

“Due to these and other factors, Lynchburg is closing 12 undergraduate programs and five graduate programs, impacting a total of 4.5 percent of students. Currently, 70 percent of undergraduate students are studying in eight majors, and 95 percent of students are in 21. The University offers 51 majors,” the university said in a news release.

Programs will be taught over the next three and four years, and enrolled students will be able to complete their degrees. At the same time, Lynchburg has made changes to its leadership, reducing its executive team from nine vice presidents to five. As the university restructures, some areas are merged.

Commenting on these changes, the President of the University of Lynchburg, Alison Morrison-Shetlar, acknowledged the contribution of faculty and staff and said the school will support them as they switch to new careers. Lynchburg has 200 full-time faculty members, of which 77 percent are tenured or tenure track.

“Other schools are cutting programs, and, for the sake of our future, we must too. But we are going a step further. For the sake of our people — our students, faculty, and staff — we are restructuring our entire University around them,” she said in a video released on May 30.

Among the undergraduate programs, there are 52 undergraduate majors, 67 minors, and 16 pre-professional programs. Graduate students, on the other hand, can choose from three doctoral programs and 14 master’s programs.

The University of Lynchburg is a private university that was founded in 1903. There are 1,822 undergraduate and 870 graduate students from 44 states. The majority of undergraduate students are women (61 percent). 72 percent of students live on the university’s campus.

The university states on its website that it has an aid package of scholarships, loans, and work-study worth $35,611. It reports that 100 percent of traditional first-year students at Lynchburg receive financial assistance, and 100 percent also receive academic awards.

Image source: Twitter account of the University of Lynchburg. Posted on November 23, 2021.

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