WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Athletic programs at the University of the District of Columbia were spared Tuesday night by the school's board, but budget woes forced them to eliminate 15 undergraduate majors and several graduate programs.
Tuesday's actions by the UDC Board of Trustees were taken in response to the need for major budget cuts, but when it comes to athletics, the group chose to put off a vote.
UDC has been accused of overspending for years and is under pressure to cut its budget. The items voted on Tuesday night were put forth by the school's interim president, James E. Lyons Sr.
In all, the trustees voted to eliminate 15 undergraduate majors and two masters degree programs. The only major on the chopping block that the trustees voted to save was Elementary Education.
The trustees voted to delay making a decision on the undergraduate Special Education major, while cutting the following: Sociology, Mass Media, Graphic Design, Physics, Studio Art, History, Marketing, Finance, Procurement and Public Contracting, Economics, Management Information Systems, Nutrition (Food Science), General Environmental Science, Water Resources Environmental Science, and Urban Sustainability Environmental Science.
The two masters programs cut were Math Statistics and Special Education. A two-year associates degree in Graphic Communication Technology is also now no longer an option.
Many who attended the meeting Tuesday night were there in support of the school's athletics programs, and they ultimately went home unsure if they would be saved.
The trustees voted to delay making a decision, but the sentiment amongst the members seemed to be to try to find cuts elsewhere rather than cut the sports program.
UDC has ten sports that play in the NCAA's Division II athletic program. They include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's lacrosse, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track, women's cross country, and men's soccer.
The high points in UDC sports history came when the men's basketball team won the Division II national championship in 1982.
Prior to the meeting, they decided not to eliminate Chemistry and Early Childhood Education as majors, as well as a masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. Those three programs had at one time been considered for elimination.