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Students protest TU restructuring plans

Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 23:26:59-04

TULSA -- Major backlash is coming from University of Tulsa students after officials announced restructuring of their academics, which eliminates nearly 40 percent of their programs.

"The trust that we have as students with TU is completely gone," said Megan Lowry, a senior studying sociology at TU.

Dozens of TU students filed in Collins Hall Tuesday afternoon, united in their disagreement with the university's decision to eliminate several programs.

"I came to this school because of the arts, I came for their reputation for the arts," said Scott Clayton, a musical theater major at TU.

The restructuring plan announced last week cut majors like musical theater, music performance, history, philosophy, and language minors like Latin and Russian.

"We’ve had off-campus individuals coming and being like yeah we need poetry people in big corporations and we need people who speak different languages," said Tori Gellman, a creative writing major at TU.

Dr. Gerard Clancy, President of TU, says these decisions were made after nearly a year of research, looking at what programs had low enrollment and fewer job opportunities after graduation.

"It’s really important for universities to have a greater focus on the areas where they think the students will want to get in to," said Dr. Clancy.

Dr. Clancy says as expected, the students have been professional while protesting these decisions.

"I knew it would be hard, I knew people would have strong emotions about it, but this is very much trying to look at the long term viability of the university," said Dr. Clancy.

Students say their efforts don't end with a single protest.

"Not only to fight for now but fight for students of five to ten years from now as well as everyone who’s going to be graduating soon," said Jay Redfearn, a freshman at TU.

Students plan on holding a mock funeral for the programs being cut on Friday at TU. They also started an online petition which has more than 2,000 signatures, and counting.

For more information on the plan, you can visit their website.

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