ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University officials are speaking out on their reason to get rid of, at least temporarily, almost a dozen undergraduate and graduate programs.
"This a decision to strengthen the university, to better serve the students. It's not intended to hurt them," said University Communications Director LaNedra Carroll.
Students will not be able to major in those programs beginning next Spring. ASU officials said it will save the university money and will not affect the quality of students' educations.
The university is deactivating majors that have averaged fewer than 10 graduates a year for the past 3 years. Officials said it's so they can put more money where student interest is.
"This is about strengthening the university. And you strengthen that by figuring out how to best use your resources," said Carroll.
The university made the announcement this week after recent studies showed interest in many fine arts programs has waned.
"If a program is no longer needed, why would you commit to your resources to that program? You wouldn't. You would reallocate those resources," said Carroll.
Students will still be able to take the core requirements in the fine arts, but they will not be able to major in those subjects.
The new fine arts building that state lawmakers funded in their 2015 budget is in the clear.
"The building will still be very well used. Every student who comes to ASU still has to take English comm; they still have to take math; they have to take those core course offerings, and they will take them in the Fine Arts building," said Carroll.
Even though few students are affected, there's not a consensus on the decision.
"I'm in support of it because the university is looking out for the students. The university is trying to make sure that we're trying to build better programs," said Damielle Douglas.
"Even though there's only a few, it's not fair to the few students that cannot graduate with these anymore because this may hinder them in their future," said Essence Harris.
Carroll wants students looking at Albany State to know they can still receive a first class education and should view this decision as one way the university looks out for the student body's interests.
The next two years will help them figure out how to move forward. They can either cancel the majors, combine them, or reactivate them.
It's too early to tell how many faculty members may lose jobs and how much money it will save the university.
The Undergrad majors being deactivated are English, Speech and Theater, Art, Music, History, Music Education, Technology Management, and Science Education.
For Graduate students, Masters of Education in English and Science are being deactivated. The programs will be reevaluated in Spring 2018.