The continuing annual decline in the University of Toledo’s student enrollment, and related negative financial consequences, appear to be having an adverse impact on academic programs (“UT revenue projection drops with enrollment,” June 18).
The baccalaureate-degree health care administration program is a good example. I retired in 2011 as a UT faculty member and director of this program. During my leadership years, the program’s curriculum and academic requirements were substantially strengthened, and annual student enrollment increased from nine to 200.
In the past two years, the program’s quality has declined. The latest blow was not maintaining an important visiting professor position. The expertise and responsibilities of this position cannot be adequately replaced by simply assigning courses to other faculty members.
The decline in the health care administration program is a disservice to students and negatively affects their preparation for future employment.
Recognizing its responsibility to maintain fiscal integrity and academic excellence, the UT board of trustees should request a comprehensive assessment of the impact that downsizing and other budget cutbacks are having on all academic programs.
Declining quality of academic programs could foster further declines in student enrollment. Perhaps UT would have been better off increasing tuition by 2 percent, similar to Bowling Green State University, and allotting the additional funds to enhance faculty positions and provide other needed support for academic programs.
Editor’s note: The writer is a former president and CEO of Mercy Health Partners and St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.