Board of Trustees retires two majors

By Madeline Alvarez, Sports Editor

The Newman Board of Trustees recently decided to retire the Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The change will only affect a handful of students, faculty said.

Newman will still have a Bachelor of Science in Math, Interim President of the University Teresa Hall Bartels said.

Bartels said she believes that cutting the programs will not save much money.

However, faculty said the change is mainly about efficiency.

Professor of Information Technology Jordan Bani said that he and his co-workers need to work on a curriculum that will incorporate the IT major into the Management Information Systems program.

"We are trying to update MIS to meet the current and the future market," Bani said.

Associate Professor of Data Analytics David Cochran said in an email that Newman currently has 18 IT Majors, 12 of which are double-majoring in MIS. In the fall, there will only be three students who are pure IT majors.

“These three will be simply updated to the new MIS degree in the fall. Meanwhile, many of those who are currently double-majoring in IT and MIS have requested to become double majors in MIS and Data Analytics,” Cochran said.

Professor of Mathematics Barbara Sponsel said that there are mainly three categories of students that she observes seeking a math degree: Those who want to be high school math teachers, just math majors going out into industry with their bachelor's and those who plan to go to graduate school for math.

Sponsel said that, sometimes, students know they want to be math majors, but they don’t know if they want to teach or do data analysis. Combining the BA and BS programs will offer more flexibility so that students don’t have to decide early on which courses they need to take for which major. It will also make her job as an advisor easier, she said.

Dean of School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics Lori Steiner said that students who are currently in a BA in Math will be able to finish their degree under the new program.

University Provost Kim Long said in an email that the board discussed retiring three other majors as well but that she cannot yet share which ones are under consideration.

"...They are all low enrollment majors where very few students may be affected," she said.

The decision will be made when the board meets again in May.

Courtesy Photo, Newman Website