Dear Wesleyan Community,
The Wesleyan College Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 5 to consider a bold plan to reposition the College for the future. Central to these discussions were remaining true to our core mission to provide an exceptional residential liberal arts college for women, and creating a sustainable pathway to greater success. With our mission as the foundation, the Trustees focused on our students, the student experience, and their changing needs.
In the last several months, Cabinet members have conducted a review of academic programs and services to ensure they best meet the needs of our current and prospective students while strengthening the long-term financial health of the College. We recognize that responsible, sustainable budgeting has to be the foundation of future growth, innovation, and creativity. The Trustees have therefore approved phasing out some current majors to generate new opportunities for growth, including new graduate programs. Several academic programs will be phased out over two years beginning in Fall 2019, including majors in chemistry, communication, economics, mathematics, and theatre, and the minor in French. Coursework will continue in these disciplines and students will still be able to minor in chemistry, communication, economics, math, and theatre.
In most cases, students who have embarked on coursework in the affected majors will be able to complete their course of study. Additionally, interdisciplinary majors and minors will continue in advertising, marketing, and communication (AMC); applied mathematical science; applied data analysis; arts management with a theatre emphasis; and forensic science. With appropriate planning, students may also finish out their course of study through a self-designed major.
We understand that these changes will be disruptive for the faculty, students, and staff who are most closely affected, but we must strive to prepare Wesleyannes for a complex world. We are retaining the vast majority of our academic programs and reshaping others to meet the challenges of a changing landscape in higher education. The world is changing rapidly and Wesleyan must too, while remaining true to our mission as a liberal arts college for women.
Last summer the Wesleyan community gathered on the quad to launch “One Wesleyan,” a day of convocation, celebration, inclusion, and optimism. On this occasion, we re-acclaimed the words of Wesleyan’s historic marker: to inspire “her graduates to go forth to the far corners of the earth to teach, to lead, to serve.” For almost two centuries, Wesleyan has made good on her promises as thousands of alumnae can attest. Through the centuries, Wesleyan has always been a place of many voices and, yet, remains FOREVER First for Women.
Vivia L. Fowler, President