WAU to Place 15 Degree Programs “On Hold,” Reduce Faculty/Staff Positions

(Spectrumbot) #1

Washington Adventist University announced Wednesday, March 6, 2019, that it would be placing 15 degree programs “on hold pending required enrollment” and subsequently reducing three positions (two faculty and one staff member). Seven other positions will be “re-assigned internally, remain unfilled or be eliminated as the proposed changes are implemented.” The statement notes that placing these degrees on hold “will not eliminate the possibility of being reactivated, consistent with student demand.”

The announcement came as part of the 2019-2020 Budget Report presented to the Board of Trustees by Dr. Weymouth Spence, president of WAU.

The statement follows in full below, and is also available on WAU’s website:

WAU Statement Budget Report 2019-2020

At the March meeting of the Washington Adventist University Board of Trustees today, Dr. Weymouth Spence presented a preview of the 2019-2020 budget. His presentation emphasized the university leadership team’s unwavering commitment to student success and recapped the growth seen in recent years.

Over the last decade, WAU’s retention rate has risen from 56% to 79%. WAU has invested over $30 million in infrastructure enhancements, physical plant renovation and new construction. Net assets for WAU have increased or risen from $15.9 million to $38.4 million since 2008. WAU also experienced an enrollment growth rate of 10%, the highest of any Adventist education institution for the current school year.

In his report, Dr. Spence also reiterated WAU’s commitment to staying current in an ever-changing educational landscape through student-centric learning. Growth and success for any institution of higher education will result in the necessity for adjustments and progressive movement, he said. Through annual assessment, WAU makes adjustments to virtually every aspect of the tapestry that comprises the fabric of our campus. As WAU moves to ensure 21st century relevancy for our current and future students, institutional adjustments will allow for the university to be agile and thrive.

Dr. Spence reported that of the 63 degrees (degrees.wau.edu) offered at the university, significant growth is seen in disciplines such as Nursing, Medical Imaging, Psychology, Pre-law and Music. He noted that there are fifteen programs that will be placed on hold pending required enrollment.

Associates Degrees: Arts General Studies; Science General Studies; Applied Science: Computer Science; Applied Science: Information Systems; Applied Science: Accounting

BA: Music Education; Physical Education; Philosophy Religion; Mathematics

BS: Physical Education; Math Education; Medical Lab

MA: Public Administration; Religion; Nursing Education

REACH Columbia Union School of Evangelism

Current students will continue to be taught as required to finish their degree.

This list includes several associate degree programs that have become less relevant in the workforce and are typically offered at community colleges. Eight undergraduate and fourteen graduate students are currently within the programs which will be placed on hold. These students will continue to complete their WAU degree. Placing these degrees on hold will not eliminate the possibility of being reactivated, consistent with student demand.

As a result of these adjustments, WAU will reduce three positions, impacting two faculty and one staff member. Seven other positions will be re-assigned internally, remain unfilled or be eliminated as the proposed changes are implemented.

Administration also announced that incorporated in WAU’s increased 2019-2020 budget, are cost of living increases, an increase in faculty compensation (as recommended by the Faculty Rank and Review Committee) and new student resources. This includes graduation success support, external scholarship counseling, student mental health education and improved, state-of-the-art WIFI infrastructure.

All of these steps will be taken to ensure the continued viability of Columbia Union’s flagship educational institution and the health of the greater WAU learning community as we work to ensure an enduring impact on the community and world around us.

We will continue to strive for intentional transparency, direct communication and collaborative planning with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community as we anticipate the challenges and opportunities of Vision 2030.

For a list of the 2019-2020 program offerings, visit degrees.wau.edu .

For more information, contact Richard Castillo, Vice President for Integrated Marketing and Communication: news@wau.edu

Below is a list of our degree offerings at WAU. Degrees on hold/teach out are identified with (**).

Associate of Arts (A.A.)**

General Studies


Social Science

Associate of Science (A.S.)**

General Studies

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Computer Science**

Information Systems**


Radiologic Technology

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)



Early Childhood Education /Special Education

Elementary Education /Special Education


English Education

General Studies




Mathematics Education


Music Education**

Political Studies

Physical Education **


Public Communication

Intercultural Communication

Public Relations

Religion /Metropolitan Ministry

Theology /Pastoral Ministry; Metropolitan Ministry

Philosophy of Religion**

Bachelor of Music (B.M.)

Music Education

Music Performance

Music Therapy – Anticipated Spring 2019

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)




Business Administration /Entrepreneurship;

Finance; International Business; Management; Marketing


Computer Science

Counseling Psychology

Fitness & Sport Science

General Studies

Health Care Administration

Health/Fitness Management

Health Science

Information Systems


Mathematics Education**

Medical Laboratory Science**


Physical Education**

Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)

Master of Arts

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Master of Arts in Health Care Administration

Master of Arts in Public Administration**

Master of Arts in Religion**

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science

Master of Science in Nursing and Business Leadership

Master of Science in Nursing Education**

Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County’s only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s nine graduate and 42 undergraduate programs. The 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.


Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org

Image courtesy of WAU.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9459

(James ) #2

If WAU keeps on doing things like AUC it will receive the same judgement as AUC. The administration’s frequent administrators/faculty/staff terminations, employment practices, financial administration and the non-oversight by the Board of Trustees is now being realized above.

(Steve Mga) #3

Yes, at one time there was consideration of combining WAU and AUC, making
2 campuses.
I guess it won’t be long before there will be NO CAMPUS for Either AUC OR
Washington Adventist University. With ALL those “no longer available” courses.
WHY would students, other than commuting students WANT to attend WAU.
BETTER to go to Southern, Kettering, Orlando.
OR, just go to public University near home and live at home and commute.
What LITTLE Religion courses are Required are NOT going to make that
much difference.
Perhaps the Columbia Union could do some Collegiate week-ends for those
SDA students attending secular Universities in various parts of the Columbia
Union in the summer or during the school year breaks.
Perhaps promote FACEBOOK contact with SDA students of college participation.
Some other forms of ChatRoom contact with other SDAs.
Come June, WHY NOT CLOSE WAU, and use the campus for other events.

(Billman) #4

22 students currently in 15 programs that are going to be placed on hold. While the students may be receiving excellent one on one attention, it is not possible to provide the best level of education with so few students. They would be better served either doing another program that is better resourced, or going to another University.

Every University needs to utilise its resources to gain maximum results. WAU appears to recognise this, and the restructure probably facilitates the increased funding towards faculty compensation and student resources. Just doing more of the same will result, at best, in more of the same.


There is an excellent community college just a few miles away, which is probably where the associate’s degree seekers are going instead, and for a fraction of the cost. There is no shortage of Adventist community in the area for anyone who chooses to be involved.

(Cfowler) #7

What is Net 30?
(20 Characters)

(Thomas J Zwemer) #9

A slow death like watching grass grow. Buy your kids a car and sent them off to a public instruction of higher learning and have them home for dinner. dorm life is worse than an army barracks I have tasted both.

(Carolyn Wesner) #10

The list of majors WAU offers is much longer than I actually expected. It must be difficult to maintain the staffing needed to make it all work. Seems like the SDA colleges could get together (collaborate & collude!) to parcel out which college will be best at offering which majors, and specialize. Nobody can be good at everything.

(Cfowler) #11

That would make sense and would be the best thing to do. But it won’t happen, unless and until, more and more financial crises happen. If it does happen, it will be because circumstances have forced it upon them, not because of any forward thinking, and smart decision making. But, we already know that, right?

(Alice C ) #12

Last summer there was a meeting to discuss collaboration among NAD based universities and colleges to do just that–collaborate on at least some things. What will come of that remains to be seen, but there is a movement afoot and a document of intention.

See Day 1 here and three more follow that: https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2018/08/10/future-adventist-higher-education-summit-kicks-chicago

(James ) #13

Maybe it’s still a WAU Leadership issue. View this link posted some years ago. No change.

(James ) #14

WAU SPRING. Join the revolution today.


WAU making smart transparent business decisions. Enrollment up, cutting expenses. Lack of transparency all too common at SAU.

(Spectrumbot) closed #16

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