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Gordon College Cutting Faculty and Some Majors

Gordon College Cutting Faculty and Some Majors

“cutting 7 percent of its operating budget over the next two years”

Hampshire isn’t the only small school in Massachusetts struggling for survival.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Liberal Arts Cuts, Evangelical Edition

Gordon College, an evangelical Christian college outside Boston, announced that it will eliminate 36 faculty and staff positions and consolidate and cut a number of majors in a budget-cutting move. Among the changes, Gordon is eliminating stand-alone majors in chemistry; French; physics; middle school and secondary education; recreation, sport and wellness; Spanish; and social work, and it is merging political science, history and philosophy into a single department.

In detailing the changes, Gordon said it is creating new multidisciplinary or “integrated” majors: for example, in lieu of a chemistry major, future Gordon students can enroll in a new biochemistry and integrated science major. Students interested in physics can take a physics track within a new physics and applied science major. A new sociology and social practice major will combine sociology and social work. Within the combined history, philosophy and political science department, stand-alone majors in political science and international relations will continue to be offered, and potential dual majors such as history and philosophy and history and political science are under review.

Rick Sweeney, Gordon’s vice president for external relations, said Gordon is cutting 7 percent of its operating budget over the next two years. Eleven faculty members are being laid off and two more retiring faculty will not be replaced. In addition, six staff members are being laid off and an additional 17 vacant staff positions will not be filled.


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healthguyfsu | May 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Chemistry and Physics are very useful and in demand. However, on the extremes, young students are either delusional to think that they can handle them and can’t or are too afraid of being less than an A student. This suppresses the height of the bell curve for would-be chemists/physicists.

This issue is observable (more so for Chem than Phys in my experience), but it is magnified at small liberal arts colleges that don’t attract a lot of the better STEM potentials (because they want to do higher caliber research and get a bigger school behind their name).

So does it seem they are keeping the soft ‘opinion’ courses and are dumping the more difficult courses that require thinking?

mochajava76 | May 18, 2019 at 6:02 pm

I think this is more a low-enrollment issue in general than an evangelical-perspective issue. Yes, Gordon College was in the news because of their stance on LGBTQ, as the Inside Higher Ed article mentioned, but I don’t think they draw that many students from the nearby area, and theirs is a moderate stance historically with the evangelical community.

Many colleges not named Harvard or Yale are struggling, birth rates are low and the number of high school graduates in New England (as well as beyond) are at a nadir.

Plus, many states are offering or moving towards offering free tuition for residents. CA already has been, NY is now offering this, and other colleges are planning this.

The article states that Gordon is trying to allow students to graduate in 3 years instead of 4, which would save on student debt. So Gordon is trying to be pro-active.

Despite the quote by Fea on History or the discussion on Physics or Chemistry, one would need to know the number of Gordon graduates who go on to Masters of PhD work to see how much this really effects students.