The last of Colorado State University-Pueblo’s history graduate students are set to complete the program in spring 2016 before the department phases it out completely. The department has not accepted new applicants in two years.
The history department took a severe blow two years ago, losing five out of nine faculty numbers in moves directly related the university’s 2013 financial crisis. However, the department has still managed to scrape by over the past two years.
The loss of over 50 percent of the department’s personnel required a cut in course offerings, which, according to department head Matt Harris, meant closing their graduate program.
“Teaching grad a course is probably double the work load of a regular course,” Harris said, explaining the reasoning behind the decision. “When you lose 50 percent of you faculty, there’s a breaking point. This is one of those breaking points.”
While emphasizing the continued success and popularity of his department’s bachelor’s level instruction, Harris, who is also on the university’s budget committee, is doubtful that the grad program will be revived anytime soon. “It’s very frustrating,” he said, stating that there is less funding for academics on campus than ever.
This past spring, CSU-Pueblo’s English department made a similar decision concerning its graduate program.
Harris said he is disappointed in the effects recent administration planning could have on students. “You’ve got to have programs that meet their needs, and you’ve got to have faculty to advise them,” he said.
For Harris, the answer is clear. “We need to replenish the faculty ranks,” he said.