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September 26, 2023

Dear Members of the Marietta College Community,  

When I joined Marietta College as Provost and Dean of the Faculty, I understood the challenges facing the College and higher education more broadly. I also saw great potential thanks to our long history and strong community. Since arriving on campus, I am even more confident that we can overcome any obstacle together.

As part of our campus-wide effort to gain financial stability and a thriving future, we have engaged in a thorough review of all our academic offerings. On Monday evening, I outlined for our faculty and staff a plan to phase out 10 academic programs over the next few years. This plan has been submitted to the President and has her support; it was subsequently approved by the Curriculum Committee on Monday afternoon. The President will ask the Board to formally approve the plan in October.

These changes will enable us to build a coherent and vibrant portfolio of academic offerings while securing our identity as a contemporary liberal arts institution. It will allow us to both invest in current academic programs and also to develop new undergraduate and graduate programs that align with the needs of our newest generation of students and the evolving demands of the world of work.

This plan is built upon extensive research and deliberation and is informed by the efforts of last year’s Academic Program Evaluation Task Force, made up of faculty from disciplines across the college. The Task Force engaged in careful and data-driven analysis that provided a framework for evaluating our academic programs. Their work allowed us to develop a shared governance process and a systematic approach to determine which programs should be discontinued and where we should invest further resources.

The list of academic programs that have been recommended for discontinuation includes:  

  • Asian Studies
  • Athletic Training (master's)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • ESL & Linguistics
  • Global Leadership
  • Land & Energy Management
  • Music Education
  • Music Therapy
  • Spanish
  • Vocal Performance

Students and faculty members affected by these program reductions have been notified individually. Our goal throughout this transition will be to teach out eliminated programs with compassion, ensuring that our faculty are supported and that current students can still earn a degree from Marietta College that allows them to pursue their goals and interests. Only 1.9% of our students will be unable to complete their declared major because of the program reductions.

Also, please note that these proposed program reductions are not a reflection on the intrinsic value of these areas of study, the faculty, or our graduates. We simply cannot sustain support for current academic offerings with low student demand, low enrollments and/or low rates of degree completion.

As we anticipate that many of you will have questions about these changes, we are compiling an FAQ page to address potential concerns.  Later today, you will be able to access the FAQs.

While change can be challenging, our community’s commitment to academic excellence and our students remains unchanged. I am confident in our continued collective ability to build a bright and sustainable future for Marietta College and for all the members of The Long Blue Line — past, present, and future.



Kathleen Poorman Dougherty, Ph.D.
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Marietta College