The policy-making body of faculty and student governance at Kansas University has its own ideas about what changes are needed in degree offerings.
Faculty and students on University Council went along with less than half of the proposals made by Kansas University officials to delete or modify academic degrees.
Only three of seven changes recommended by KU's central administration were endorsed Thursday by the council. Council decisions will be forwarded to Chancellor Gene Budig, who has the power to override council votes.
Recommendations to reform degree offerings at KU resulted from an order from the Kansas Board of Regents to review all academic programs at six regents' universities.
The regents' goal was to eliminate weak programs, concentrate on areas of strength and save money.
Of most consequence, the council rejected a proposal from KU officials and the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee, part of faculty/student governance, to cut the master's degree in atmospheric science.
Joe Eagleman, meteorology professor, said it would have been senseless to do away with the graduate degree.
The council voted to accept the administration and AP&P recommendation to eliminate the bachelor of arts in atmospheric science.
Extensive debate was waged over a plan to delete the bachelor of arts and bachelor of general studies degrees in computer science. The council decided to keep the bachelor of arts to give liberal arts students access to computer science courses.
"Elimination of the degree would discourage students from combining computer science with other studies," said Earl Schweppe, computer science professor.
Council members also rejected an administration proposal to make the bachelor of arts in Italian a track in the French program.
Instead, members agreed a new degree should be offered. The "B.A. in French and Italian" would permit students to concentrate in either language.
"I don't think it saves us any money. In fact, we're encouraging the hiring of an Italianist immediately," said Robert Anderson, AP&P chair.