McDaniel College, a private institution in Maryland, announced that it is eliminating five majors and three minors -- all in the arts and humanities. The majors being eliminated are art history, religious studies, French, German and music. The minors are in German, music and Latin. "Any savings from this evaluation will be reinvested to strengthen our academic programs. Investments will support the reorientation of existing programs to better meet the needs of the 21st century, and to create new programs that will expand the curricular offerings of the college," said a statement from Roger N. Casey, the president.
Members of the Progressive Student Union at the college protested outside the board meeting where the votes were taken to end the programs. A statement that the group posted on Facebook said, "As students at a liberal arts college, we believe firmly in the first principles of this institution, which advocate for the importance of a liberal arts education. As you all know, having the opportunity to take courses across many disciplines creates students who are flexible, knowledgeable and able to think critically in the face of all that the world has to throw our way. Although these proposed restructurings have been compared to similar movements in liberal arts education, like cutting Latin and Greek as required subjects, we believe that there is a genuine difference between the removal of those programs and what is currently happening here. For example, music and German are both living, breathing, culturally relevant languages. Beyond these two academic offerings, the other programs that would be affected are also integral to the creation of well-informed citizens and academics. Many of us are here as a result of the existence of these programs. And we all recognize their importance in our collective education."