AAUP Wisconsin supports the students rallying in Madison today to save the liberal arts majors at UW-Stevens Point. We join students, faculty, alumni, and community members in expressing our dismay at the proposal to eliminate these programs, and we call on the Stevens Point administration to withdraw its plan from consideration.
AAUP proceeds from the position that academic program decisions must be based on educational considerations. We are aware of no sound educational consideration that supports the elimination of English, History, Political Science, Geography, Geoscience, Philosophy, Sociology, French, German, Spanish, Art, American Studies, or Music Literature as major programs of study. To our knowledge, the Stevens Point administration has not even attempted to offer an explanation on educational grounds.
UW-Stevens Point students have come to the right place today. Our UW System leaders in Madison have laid the groundwork for what is happening in Stevens Point. They have approved an ill-conceived dismantling of the UW Colleges that puts added strain on Stevens Point. Most fundamentally, they have failed to protect our campuses from the damaging cuts whose effects we now see.
We reject academic planning guided by budget austerity. We reject the elitism in telling students that the liberal arts are no longer an option in central Wisconsin. From Superior to the Colleges to Stevens Point, we call on our System and campus leaders to ensure that every University of Wisconsin student has access to a comprehensive education on their campus. The Wisconsin Idea demands no less.