At the faculty meeting on Monday, April 5th, there was a vote by the faculty to end the business and economics minors. Current students will not be affected by this decision, as it will only take effect for the class of 2019 and beyond.
The economics and business department has a large number of majors- 70 total this year. Those majors, though, are having difficulties getting into the 200 level class required as a prerequisite to take macro and/or micro economics. The solution offered by the department is to no longer offer a minor, which could potentially free up space in 200 level classes for the majors.
Ahmed Hussen, chair of the department stated in a letter to the Educational Policies Committee, “The unintended effect of the increasing popularity of our minor programs has been to deny majors from taking the 200-level course requirement in a timely manner… sixteen out of the twenty-five students enrolled in [microeconomics] are seniors”. Indeed, according to registration stats, there are around 20 students who minor in business or economics each year, on average.
Before going to the faculty meeting, the drop request went through the EPC. “We brought it to the faculty because it was not educationally solid… by getting rid of the minors, the majors can be stronger” said Pamela Cutter, chair of EPC. An issue brought up at the faculty meeting was the relevancy of minors as a whole and what their place at a liberal arts college is.
“A minor without any upper level classes is kind of odd,” Dr. Cutter said, “and the econ/business minor is certainly not the only minor like that.”