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Program cuts damage UWS, community

Eliminating a significant number of programs at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is counterproductive. It affects not only the first generation students, but also the entire student body, families, UWS and its community, faculty and staff, and the city of Superior.

Eliminating programs will result in students seeking other institutions that offer the programs the students' desire. Moreover, it will take a hard hit on families and students who can't meet the tuition expenses of out-of-state and private colleges. This will either discourage students from seeking a higher education or bear the expenses of attending colleges with higher tuition rates. Students bring significant revenue to the campus and the city. Scrapping a significant number of programs might result in more transferring out and lower enrollments, which inadvertently will affect the university and community.

All students must be given the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Taking away their options and making decisions for them is insulting to students, their families and faculty. What the students need is opportunity, guidance and encouragement. Limiting their options is not going to adequately prepare them for the already competitive job market.

UWS retains a vibrant international student body from all across the globe representing about 30 countries. It brings substantial revenue to the campus, community and the city. Furthermore, it adds a lively flair to the community that otherwise has limited opportunities to be exposed to such diversity. I believe many of the programs you chose to discontinue will discourage international students from enrolling at UWS, which affects everyone in the community in one way or another.

The decision to eliminate programs negatively impacts UWS as a higher education institution. It takes away the factors that can further raise the standards of UWS and make it a thriving institution that can compete with other universities in the area, state and region.

As a first generation international proud alum of UWS, I am personally offended and saddened by the decision to eliminate 32 programs. UWS groomed me and many of my colleagues to pursue our dreams and stand par with alumni from Ivy League institutions. It is heart breaking to think that future UWS students and alumni may not be fortunate enough to experience the same standards of education that I was fortunate enough to experience.

Shashika Fernando

Chicago, Ill.

*Editor's note: UWS has announced it is suspending 25 academic programs. Another 15 are currently on warning status, meaning changes are required to the curriculum. Suspended programs can be restored within five years if there is enough student interest, according to administrators.