UI requests regents’ approval for academic program changes

The University of Iowa requested closing two programs and the addition of another at the state Board of Regents’ meeting Feb. 27 in Ames.

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UI requests regents’ approval for academic program changes

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Kelsey Harrell & Katie Ann McCarver, News Reporters

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State Board of Regents recommends closing online business-administration program:

The University of Iowa on Feb. 27 requested the state Board of Regents’ approval to close the online bachelor of business administration program and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences online format of the pre-business preparatory program.

The bachelor of business administration offers a major focus in management with an emphasis in entrepreneurial management; it is available on campus as well as online, according to regents’ documents.

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The curriculum for the online program is the same as for the on-campus program; the liberal arts’ on-campus and online pre-business programs are also the same. The pre-business program allows students to take prerequisite courses and achieve the minimum GPA for admission into the bachelor’s of business administration program, the documents said.

The online programs have low enrollment compared with the on-campus counterparts, but the programs require advising and administrative resources. With the enrollment for the campus programs at a high, the Tippie College of Business wants to have more advising and administrative resources available for on-campus students, the documents said.

“UI Tippie College of Business will discontinue online bachelor’s to focus on more specialized online programs,” UI Associate Provost for undergraduate education Tanya Uden-Holman said at the Feb. 27 meeting. “Fall 2019 would be final semester for online bachelor of business, would continue to support students until graduation.”

The regents recommend closing comparative-literature degree program:

The regents on Feb. 27 recommended closing the UI’s comparative literature B.A. program on Aug. 26.

The students who have already declared a major in comparative literature will be able to complete the program after the closing. Other departments at the UI routinely offer classes related to comparative literature that students will still be able to take, Uden-Holman said at the meeting.

RELATED: UI seeks approval for awarding two honorary degrees

The comparative literature B.A. is a 33-semester-hour major that requires prior knowledge of two languages and compares literature across cultures, Uden-Holman said.

The programs gave students the opportunity to focus on world languages and literature or on literature and the arts, according to regents’ documents.

“It’s been under-enrolled for a number of years — currently, seven students have declared the major, and very few students graduate every year,” Uden-Holman said.

The program is an interdisciplinary program, and some students choose to double-major or earn a major and minor in other disciplines instead of completing the program, according to the documents.

The Liberal Arts College doesn’t expect a cost savings from closing the program because other departments offer the courses, the documents said.

Graduate College requests new master’s program:

Also on Feb. 27, the regents listened to and recommended the approval of the UI’s request for a master of science in engineering and information technology in the Graduate College.

According to a document from the regents’ Academic Affairs Committee, the program will provide advancement in business and industry in light of recent expansion of computer, information and advanced-manufacturing technology.

“There are about 10 companies that have approached our College of Engineering about the possibility of putting on such a program,” Graduate College Dean John Keller said. “There is great interest there for their employees.”

The College of Engineering has a large number of companies and manufacturers it works with, and the non-thesis program would primarily cater to practicing engineers and professionals, specifically in the Quad Cities and Davenport area, Keller said.

To accommodate these types of students, the courses will be taught at the Quad Cities UI Education Center in central Davenport, outside of regular working hours.

“It has great support from the faculty in the College of Engineering in a number of departments,” Keller said. “It will be largely self-sustaining from tuition.”

In addition to support from in the college, the program has also been endorsed by the university’s peers at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University.

The degree would require 30 semester hours, or 10 courses, including computer engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and data sciences.

“The program is designed to be very broad but very rigorous, in the sense of trying to help these folks with advanced training in computer science,” Keller said.