Concordia cuts Scandinavian Program

Molly Jones
Norwegian American Weekly

Following a rich history of Norwegian education and heritage, Concordia College has decided to discontinue the Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies Program.

The administration of the Lutheran liberal arts college, located in Moorhead, Minn., announced the decision on January 29. The program changes affect several other departments as well, including Classical Studies, Classics, Latin, Latin Education, French, French Education, German, Health, and Humanities majors.

While the programs are now closed to new students, the announcement states that students already enrolled in these majors will be assisted in finishing their coursework, through courses by arrangement, independent studies, or substitution of requirements.

Minors will still be available in Classics, French, and German, but minors in Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies have also been cut.

Therefore, no Scandinavian Studies classes will be offered after the spring of 2017, when Dr. Milda Halvorson, the Director of the Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies Program, leaves the college.

Concordia states that the program cuts were made as part of a $2.7 million target in cost savings and new revenue generation. The review was led by the Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, along with division chairs, the Dean of the Offutt School of Business, and key faculty members.

“These decisions align budgets and staffing with the majors for which there is the most evidence of demand from current and future students,” writes Concordia on their Questions and Answers page.

According to the announcement, programs with decreasing rates of enrollment were reviewed, and student/faculty ratio and average class size were taken into consideration to determine which programs would be discontinued.

“It is sad a moment in the history of the college,” says Dr. Halvorson, emphasizing Concordia’s beginnings as an institution founded by Norwegian settlers and its century-long history of promoting Norwegian language education.

“I hope and wish that it would be introduced back in the near future,” she adds.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 19, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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