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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Program Changes Affect Professors, Students

Written by: Mikaela ConleySeptember 21, 2017

Offices in the Liberal Arts and Science buildings, where secretaries of the Geology and Philosophy departments used to reside, have been empty since the start of the Spring 2017 semester thanks to the University Strategic Alignment Process.

USAP announcements last October included suspending the French and German programs and eliminating Women’s Studies, Geology and Philosophy departments. It was later decided that Women’s Studies would be reinstated.

“Our program has certainly suffered due to the elimination of the Philosophy major and the Philosophy department,” Charlene Elsby, director of the Philosophy program, said via email. “I don’t think that the people making the decisions to close programs anticipated the logistical nightmare it would become.”

Now, in the aftermath of USAP, professors in these departments have had to be “housed” in new departments. Elsby was moved to the English program while other philosophy professors were relocated to History, Mathematics and Psychology, Elsby said via email.

“We are glad to have access to staff in the English Department as well as our other new home departments. It’s coordinating between them that’s difficult,” Elsby said.

There are also dozens of philosophy majors who need to complete their degrees, but as they slowly graduate, the enrollment in those courses will decline, Elsby said.

“The administration promises that we should be able to continue to offer our required courses, despite declining enrollments,” she said, “and we expect that promise to be met.”

Assistant geology professor Ben Dattillo is also facing similar struggles as he was relocated to the Biology Department and his Geology colleagues were rehoused to Chemistry, Physics and other departments.

While the department has been cut, the geology minor was never technically cut, he said. Therefore, he hopes to be able to continue offering the required courses for the minor. They also hope to continue offering their education degree.

“We are really trying to make the education major work,” Datillo said. “The teaching degree is pretty important because it’s hard enough to get science teachers out there and they’re in huge demand … and any teachers we have ever produced have had jobs before they left as far as I know. They’re instantly employed.”

New Programs Announced

On Sept. 15, IPFW announced the addition of The Bachelor of Science in biochemistry to be offered by “the newly realigned Purdue University Fort Wayne” beginning Fall 2018.

“Purdue Fort Wayne will be the only university in northeast Indiana to offer the B.S. in biochemistry. The creation of this degree program arose from the needs of the state’s life sciences sector, specifically medical device companies located in the northern Indiana region,” according to a press release.

The Bachelor of Science in data science and applied statistics will also be “open for admission for the 2018-19 academic year,” according to a May press release. The Bachelor of Science in actuarial science was also newly added this semester.