The Luther College faculty voted Tuesday, Nov. 17 in favor of an academic restructuring proposal designed to better align the college’s academic program offerings and faculty size with the interests and size of the student population. 

Overall, the proposal will reduce the faculty by approximately 27 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. Four programs and stand-alone minors will be eliminated: Biblical languages, Chinese studies, library and information studies and linguistics. Other programs will be reduced in FTE by varying amounts, but the programs will be retained. These programs include anthropology, art, chemistry, communication studies, education, English, health promotion and exercise science, history, mathematics, music, Nordic studies, physics, psychology and religion. The programs in classics, French, German, and philosophy will be reduced and restructured. 

The proposal, presented by the faculty Curriculum Committee, was based on recommendations made by the faculty Academic Prioritization Task Force, which studied this topic in detail during the spring and summer of 2020. 

This proposal’s implementation depends on approval by the Luther College Board of Regents.  

The Curriculum Committee’s proposal aims to balance increased efficiency with a desire for greater interdisciplinarity. 

 Five new programs and stand-alone minors will be assessed in three years: global health, identity studies, musical theater, neuroscience and visual communications. 

Pending approval of the proposal by the Board of Regents, the academic dean will manage the timing of the faculty positions being eliminated, based on fairness and equity and consistent with guidelines set in the faculty handbook. Most of these reductions will occur through planned retirements. The dean will investigate parallel appointments into administrative positions for non-retiring, tenured members of the faculty whose positions are affected by the implementation of the proposal.

The Curriculum Committee’s next step toward re-envisioning the Luther curriculum for the 21st century is a revision of the general education curriculum.