Maryville College has announced changes to its academic programs that will result in four positions being eliminated.
According to the college, the changes also will create a new dual-degree program with the University of Tennessee and make the college more attractive to students transferring from two-year schools.
"Education is about meeting people where they are and helping them move to where they want to be," said Tom Bogart, president of Maryville College.
The moves include adding eight majors and two minors, while eliminating two majors and two minors, according to a news release from the college. Overall, four positions -- three faculty and one staff -- will be cut.
Majors in chemical physics and art history are being eliminated, as well as minors in French and physics.
Barbara Wells, Maryville College vice president and dean, said student interest in those programs has been low for a few years.
Bogart said Wednesday that the three faculty positions to be cut will be in the library, physics and French programs, while the staff position will be a music instructor.
"Our academic dean conferred with all of the division chairs in the departments as well as faculty leaders to generate a set of options. Then we carefully reviewed those options to try to have the least possible impact on students," Bogart said. "It is very difficult for the individuals involved and we're sad."
Bogart said the cut to the staff position will take effect at the end of this school year and those in the faculty positions are being invited to stay until May 2013. This will help the faculty professionally transition and will help students in those majors complete their academic programs, he said.
Wells said the business and organization management major is being replaced with four majors: management, marketing, finance/accounting and human resource management. A business minor also is being added.
Wells said the college is adding a major and a minor in design, and a major in neuroscience and exercise science.
The dean said a new major -- biopharmaceutical sciences -- is a dual-degree program with the UT Health Sciences College of Pharmacy. Students will spend three years at Maryville College and four at UT to earn a doctorate of pharmacy, she said.
Wells said Maryville College recently joined the Tennessee Transfer Pathway program, which helps students with associate degrees from Tennessee community colleges transition into four-year colleges and universities. The academic program changes are in line with the college's strategic plan, she said.
The college, with annual tuition nearly at $30,000, witnessed a drop in enrollment of full-time students from 1,103 in 2009 to 1,032 in 2011 -- which Bogart attributed to a balky economy and changes in the school's admissions office -- that heightened attention to ensuring the college's resources were well-focused, the president said.
"We're not looking at being a lot bigger," Bogart said of 2012-13 enrollment. "We want to continue to focus on providing a quality experience for students."