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WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 14, 2011 – Gallaudet University today announced that several of its programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels will close in August 2013. This decision by the university’s governing board was made for the purposes of long-term planning and strategic resource allocation.

The university’s academic program restructuring process began in January 2010 with the formation of a 14-member Program Prioritization Task Force. Over a seven-month period, the task force conducted a data-driven, systematic review of 99 undergraduate and graduate academic program offerings that were assessed based on a set of agreed-upon common criteria for recommending growth, monitoring, restructuring, merging, or discontinuing. On Friday, February 11, the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees approved the elimination of 17 programs, including six undergraduate majors, six undergraduate minors, three master’s degree programs, one educational specialist program, and one doctoral program. These programs will be phased out over time to accommodate currently enrolled students. Additional academic programs may be realigned, reorganized, or integrated to better meet the needs of students and afford them greater career opportunities.

“The prioritization process was initiated to address various factors that necessitated changes in the way the university operated,” said Dr. Benjamin J. Soukup, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “The university has an ambitious strategic plan in place requiring that we meet certain milestones by 2015. We feel these recommendations will help us meet those milestones and dramatically improve our offerings to ensure Gallaudet’s continued growth and success.”

The university is continuing a separate restructuring process focused on administrative programs and services. Preliminary recommendations resulting from that review process are currently open for comment by members of the university community.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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