OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Kentucky Wesleyan College is taking steps they feel are necessary to ensure a healthier future for the college.
Officials say the strategic and structural changes align with the trends of low student enrollment and the financial restraints of the campus.
The President of the college, Dr. Thomas Mitzel, says not as many traditional age students are using traditional ways to get their education.
“The reality is that, right now, there are 15 million undergraduate-aged students..18 to 22. There are 45 million people who are looking, or have already participated in some sort of online education. So, the national trends are shifting a little bit and we want to be able to shift with them,” said Dr. Mitzel.
Organizational and structural changes were made.
The men’s bowling team and cheer team are being reclassified as self-funded sports. The men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, as well as both cross country teams, are being eliminated.
College president says this is due to the lack of facilities he feels the campus currently provides and what he feels is the level of support they need to really grow at the highest level.
“What we did tell our students is that, when they were recruited to Kentucky Wesleyan College, they were not recruited as athletes only. What we try to do is bring in students who are going to fit with Kentucky Wesleyan, and “the Wesleyan way”, and be very comfortable on campus..and really buy into the community,” said The college’s President.
Student athletes engaged in eliminated sports programs will have their scholarships honored as well as academic support and medical care, as long as they stay in good standing with the college’s rules.
The college will also be getting rid of 32 positions across different departments; 21 of them were already vacant and will be combined into other existing roles.
“We looked at — one, was areas where we may have had a little redundancy, where we can share positions and be a little more efficient. Others, were areas with lower enrollment that were no longer populated at the same level. What we want is to make sure is that we are right sized for the number of students who are on campus,” said Dr. Thomas Mitzel.
The college says they operated efficiently at this same level in 2016. So, they feel its just a matter of getting reacclimated to that same work structure. College officials say they have plans to support in any way they can.