New Brunswick

University of Moncton considering possible cuts of courses

University of Moncton is considering a major revision to 21 of the programs it offers.

Report completed in June has not been made public by the university

A cement sign reads "université de Moncton" in blue font on a white background and below, on a light blue background, dark blue font reads "campus de Moncton." An Acadian flag is mounted on a pole just behind the sign.
Details of a study that made recommendations to cut some courses at the University of Moncton have not been made public. (CBC)

University of Moncton is considering a major revision to 21 of the programs it offers that could see majors, such as philosophy and geography, axed, while creating new graduate programs. 

The university completed a 500-page study of the programs in June and made 83 recommendations but details of the study have not been made public.

André Samson, the vice-rector of teaching and research, said the report does recommend cutting certain programs, such as the geography and philosophy majors. 

However,  students would still be able to pursue minors in geography and philosophy. 

Samson told Radio-Canada that more than 20 new programs were suggested, half of them graduate programs, such as a Masters in Acadian Studies. 

Carl Richard says he is not sure of that to think of the possible cuts to courses. (Suzanne LaPointe/CBC)
He said the study "was not a strategy to cut programs, it's an exercise in looking at the programs we offer and redirecting them to suit our needs, our expertise and the interests of our students."

Samson also said the university was not simply looking at programs with low enrolment and cutting them. 

"The study proposes utilizing the strengths that we have in place in each of our three campuses," he said, referring to the university's Moncton, Edmundston and Shippagan campuses. 

"It's certain that in Shippagan and Edmundston, they have obvious strengths and we want to capitalize on those strengths, and the development of programs is being done along those lines."

Student reaction

Isabelle Michaud says she is disappointed the university will no longer offer a philosophy major. (Suzanne LaPointe/CBC)
Students, such as Carl Richard, a psychology major at the university, aren't sure what to think.

"They have a lot less financing, but they still have costs increasing. [There are] less students coming to study in our university. Well they have to do something, and I hope they're doing the right decision," he said.

Isabelle Michaud, who is pursuing a general arts degree, said she was disappointed a philosophy major would no longer be offered.

"I love philosophy, I love taking courses and sometimes I have a hard time to find a class in philosophy that fits my schedule because [they're aren't] too many classes," Michaud said.

Etienne Dako, the president of the university's professors association, told Radio-Canada the departmental consultations for the report were not done in a uniform fashion and his association considers the study a work in progress.

The report has been submitted to the members of the university's student council and they have until Oct. 14 to give their opinion. 

Internal consultations are ongoing, and Andre Samson says a dozen community groups will also be consulted. 

No final decisions on any cuts or additions have been made by the university.