Baldwin Wallace University unveils job and program cuts to address budget deficit


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Dive Brief:

  • Baldwin Wallace University, a private Ohio institution, will cut or consolidate 13 academic programs and eliminate 23 faculty and staff positions as it seeks to balance its budget. 
  • Students enrolled in affected programs will have the option to finish their studies by their planned graduation dates, the university said in an announcement last week. The academic restructuring is also intended to make graduation requirements easier for students to understand, it said.
  • Many of the roughly two dozen employee reductions have already occurred through attrition and retirements, according to Baldwin Wallace President Bob Helmer. But some will affect active employees. “These are people who’ve helped make BW an extraordinary experience, and we understand that this action affects their career and family,” he said in a video message.

Dive Insight:

Baldwin Wallace, like many colleges, has struggled with declining enrollment in recent years. It had 3,220 students in fall 2022, down from 4,169 a decade prior, according to federal data.

The university’s leadership placed the university under a hiring freeze last September, with plans to continue it through this December. On Jan. 25, its board of trustees approved the new plan to cut programs and employees.

Some programs, like International Studies and National Security, will combine to create new majors. Others, like French and the Business of Healthcare, will stop admitting students and cease operations once the current cohort graduates.

In one instance, the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program will cease to exist almost immediately as it has no students enrolled and will no longer admit new ones.

The full list of affected programs includes:

  • International Studies.
  • National Security.
  • French.
  • German.
  • Religion.
  • Philosophy.
  • Business Information Systems.
  • Enterprise Risk Analytics.
  • Organizational Leadership.
  • Business of Healthcare.
  • Healthcare Management.
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
  • Education Leadership.

Baldwin Wallace touted its recent enrollment progress in the same message as it announced the cuts. 

Its freshman class grew 13% year over year last fall, in what the university called its largest and more diverse cohort since 2015. And applications for fall 2024 are up 15% from the previous year, the university said.

In addition to the cuts, Baldwin Wallace will work to grow its revenue by expanding student recruitment and donor fundraising efforts, it said.


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