Dickinson community reflects on Dickinson State University’s discontinuation of seven majors and faculty members

Dickinson State University campus
Dickinson State University campus(KFYR)
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 8:29 AM CDT
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DICKINSON, N.D. (KFYR) - Last week, we reported that Dickinson State University was cutting seven majors and terminating the contacts of some faculty members. Now, students and staff in those majors are trying to figure out what to do next.

Theater minor Maegean Fox says she was shocked last week at the news.

“We’ve done all we could and I feel like our voices weren’t listened to, you know, if we actually have actively protested against them for them not to listen to that and not to see that we’re actively trying to change this decision, you’re not listening to the students then,” said Maegean Fox, DSU junior.

The provost and DSU President Steve Easton attended a student senate meeting and suggested the student senate hold a forum to hear from students. Easton made the final decision.

“It’s not that any of these programs didn’t do valuable things. It’s just we have to be aware of the fact we are spending taxpayer funds and our student’s funds,” said Easton.

The five faculty members terminated have 20 days to request a review to preserve their jobs.

“It’s a big thing here at the school is the athletics, but I would also like to see that the arts and the creative people on the campus are also being appreciated as part of the campus,” said Kat Messmer, DSU junior.

Students might have the option to continue their majors through the state university system called teach-out.

“I know other people who have been contacted with teach-out, but I haven’t received any emails, and I’ve had to talk with my advisors,” said Fox.

The provost and the vice president are working with sister institutions to work out the teach-out plans.

“Dickinson State University is one of the largest employers in our community. And they have had modest enrollment growth for all three out of the last four years at a very challenging time in higher education,” said Carter Fong, executive director of the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce.

Of the 44 students in the majors that have been discontinued, 20 of them are seniors.

Many programs were also analyzed for possible curriculum reform.

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