UNI Budget Cuts to Impact Enrollment?

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa students are still reeling over the decision to cut several academic programs.

Some foreign language programs and others with low graduation rates will no longer be an option for students.

On Wednesday, the Board of Regents officially approved the University's plan to closing those majors and minors. The board also recently approved the university's plan to close the Malcolm Price Lab School at the end of the year.

Now, the school is beginning the process of restructuring and making plans to "teach out" those programs that will no longer exist. Still, many students are questioning what will happen to their school in the future.

According to University Spokesman Jim O'Connor, right now, enrollment numbers are good.

"Everything we use as an indicator shows we are right on track," O'Conner said.
He added that the budget-cutting measures are designed to keep those numbers up and keep the school competitive.

Some students aren't so sure.

"People might think twice before they come to UNI to enroll in education or obviously we don't have language programs anymore and we hope it doesn't affect UNI's enrollment because it really is a great campus," said UNI Graduate Student Kelley Rouchka.

"Changes that I could foresee in UNI is probably just capping enrollment in the college of education. There is not going to be enough support from the Cedar Valley Teachers to have every UNI student observe in a classroom and they will have to space out enrollment," said UNI Education Graduate Student Ann Echelmeyer.
UNI said it is confident enrollment numbers will not go down through all of these tough decisions. O'Connor hopes students considering the school will take a good look at attending classes there, even with cuts on the horizon.

"What we ask those students to do is look at the institution and say, are there other things we could be providing because UNI is one of the best institutions in the nation and we want to make it the best in the nation," said UNI Spokesman Jim O'Connor.

Any current student enrolled in academic areas that have been cut will be able to graduate with a degree in the program before they come to an end.
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