Lack Of Funding Causes A Central Iowa College To Eliminate Department And Two Majors

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INDIANOLA, Iowa-- Thirteen teaching positions at Simpson College are being eliminated. It's the university's second round of layoffs this year in the same round of cuts.

French and German majors will no longer be offered, and some say the biggest hit is the school's Art Department -- which is closing.

We found it’s all part of a nationwide trend.

“We added a health human services major and a data science major," Jill Johnson VP Marketing and Communications at Simpson said.

But that comes at a cost.

“They just told me that the Art Department was going to be discontinued," art instructor Justin Nostrala said.

Closing the Art Department and discontinuing French and German majors is the school's latest push to save money and boost enrollment.

Justin Nostrala will lose his job. He has taught art Simpson here for 17 years and he is not alone, twelve other faculty will be laid off too.

“I’d hoped that the college would find a way to keep up the art department," Nostrala said.

The university says there just isn’t enough money.

“Due to lack of student enrollment, declining student enrollment over the years," Jill Johnson said.

Over the past three years, full-time enrollment at Simpson is down from 1,379 in 2016 to 1,250 in 2018.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, nationwide there are 14,000 less full-time private college students this academic year.

Layoffs depend on a teacher’s contract, Nostrala is tenure so his last day will be sometime in May 2020.

Students can still declare art as a major and the university says there will be resources, so students can graduate.

The school will no longer recruit for Art, French or German majors.

The cuts will not impact to scholarship money offered to students in those fields.

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