November 20, 2023
Park University is laying off faculty, cutting majors and closing campuses due to low enrollment numbers.
In an emailed statement, the private university informed staff members it would be laying off 16 faculty positions in areas with low enrollment or in areas where the university believes reducing the number of faculty members won’t harm the program, The Kansas City Beacon reported.
Park enrollment dove more than 30 percent from 11,319 total students in the fall of 2019 to 7,483 in the fall of 2022, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.
Numbers have continued to dip well into the fall 2023 semester as the number of total students enrolled currently is 6,634.
The university also said it will eliminate three graduate degree programs including; master of social work, master of arts in national security studies and master of education in language and literacy. Students currently enrolled in these programs are still eligible to finish their classes.
In addition, several bachelor’s degree concentrations, a graduate certificate program, an undergraduate certificate program and seven minors will also be cut.
Campus closures will also take effect but it is not known which of the 39 campuses across the country will be afflicted. However, a map on the school’s website listed 24 campuses in 16 states, a decrease from 39 in 21 states in September.
The main Parkville campus and campuses in Lenexa, Independence and Kansas City will not be affected, director of communications and public relations at Park University, Brad Biles said.