Western Illinois University trustees on Friday voted to eliminate African-American studies, women's studies and two other degree programs due to poor enrollment and low graduation rates.Strictly speaking, much of the work being done in the "studies" disciplines might better be part of the mission of philosophy, perhaps sociology, and as part of political science courses. But students, for whatever reason, are not flocking to these courses.
The university will allow students to minor in the eliminated program areas, which also include philosophy and religious studies.
The trustees' vote follows a recommendation by Provost and Academic Vice President Kathy Neumann and a study by a program elimination committee. Trustee board Chairwoman Cathy Early said the decision to eliminate the majors was not one the board took lightly.
Western's registrar's office says no degrees in African-American studies, two degrees in philosophy, two degrees in women's studies and one degree in religious studies were conferred in May.Aleister of College Insurrection notes, "Expect to see more of this as the higher ed bubble grows."
Perhaps, although, as is the case with any bubble, people have the opportunity to opt out, rather than keep hoping for some greater fool to pay even more for that beachfront house or victim studies degree. Perhaps in the scaling back of the faddish disciplines we see the emergence of a proper "default major" even if nobody wants to admit that a restoration of a core curriculum is what's really going on.