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University of Akron Faculty Concerned Over Decision-Making on Program Cuts, eSports

Photo of University of Akron
The University of Akron's chapter of the AAUP -- the union representing about 600 full-time faculty members -- makes up about a tenth of AAUP membership in Ohio.

The University of Akron’s decision to cut 80 degree programs is being met with disappointment from faculty – not just because of which programs will be terminated, but also due to new investments into a program for online gamers.

The university announced earlier this year that it would add a varsity eSports program due to the large number of STEM-oriented students at Akron. Along with the program cuts announced last week, the school said it would open three new spaces for eSports.

Pamela Schulze -- president of Akron’s branch of the American Association of University Professors – says the union should have been part of the decision-making process.

“If we’re going to divert resources from academic programs into eSports, that’s a strategic decision about the future of the university. And it was made by ‘not faculty.’”

Schulze adds that the AAUP has not made any decisions on how to proceed following the program cuts and eSports announcements, but will be gathering input at the group’s next meeting in September.