SUNY Fredonia Cuts 13 Low-Enrollment Degree Programs to Address Financial Deficit

Amid a $10 million deficit, SUNY Fredonia will cut degree programs representing 15% of all majors yet only 2% of its student population.
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Published on December 15, 2023
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  • Students within the discontinuing majors will be able to complete their degrees and graduate without interruption.
  • The university will add a master's in clinical mental health counseling and a master of business administration in 2024.
  • The university plans to grow to about 3,400 students by fall 2026.

A State University of New York (SUNY) school is cutting 13 struggling degree programs to address a $10 million deficit.

SUNY Fredonia President Stephen H. Kolison Jr. this month announced a new financial stability plan to address the institution's financial deficit, adjust spending, and magnify strengths and areas of growth. The university plans to grow to about 3,400 students by fall 2026.

"I want to be very clear at the outset that eliminating the structural deficit does not mean that we simply slash our operating budget or expenditures by the deficit amount," Kolison said in his announcement. "Nor, is there one-shot funding that can paper over our structural budgetary issues."

The university identified 13 bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of fine arts (BFA), and bachelor of science in education (B.S.Ed) programs with low enrollment:

  • BA. in Visual Arts and New Media, Art History
  • BA in French
  • BA in French: Adolescence Education
  • BS in Industrial Management
  • BS in Mathematics: Middle Childhood Specialist (grades 5-9)
  • BA in Philosophy
  • BA in Sociology
  • BA in Spanish
  • BA in Spanish: Adolescence Education
  • BFA in Visual Arts and New Media, Ceramics
  • BFA in Visual Arts and New Media, Photography
  • BFA in Visual Arts New Media, Sculpture
  • B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2)

Kolison ensured that current students within these programs can complete their degrees and graduate. The university will freeze admissions or registration of new students within those programs.

The programs represent 15% of all Fredonia majors, with a total enrollment of 74 students — just 2% of all the school's undergraduates. A third of these students are set to graduate in the spring.

The university plans on adding new programs, including a master's in clinical mental health counseling program beginning in spring 2024 and a master of business administration degree in fall 2024.

The university is also investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance recruitment and retention and enhance and simplify complex processes.

"Fredonia's history is impressive; its future is promising. Unlike small private universities that have been forced to close, we are fortunate to be part of an extensive and successful university system," Kolison said.

"I am pleased to share with you that SUNY administrators, including the Chancellor and trustees, have pledged their full support to this roadmap to a brighter future."

SUNY and the City University of New York (CUNY) systems offer free tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less per year and are either U.S. citizens or NYS Dreamers.

The state of New York also expanded childcare for student-parents last year at the two systems.