On February 1, ENC held its second town hall forum addressing the discontinuation of the Music, Theatre, and English and Literature Majors.
Similar to the first town hall forum, President Dr. Corlis McGee, Provost Dr. Timothy Wooster, and Jeff Kirksey were present to answer students’ questions.
One theater major asked about the measures ENC is taking to make sure no other majors need to be cut in the future.
In response, Brian Parker emphasized that it is “all about recruiting, and we are purchasing names and trying to go national. We used to have students apply from 38 states and it is now at 49. We have been doing a lot to market [the school]. We want to make sure that people know who we are and what we are capable of.”
As for the current music, theater, and English majors, ENC has ensured that those students will be able to finish their majors on time. The college will be looking at the degree requirements and choosing what courses are most important for students to take in order to graduate on time.
Many of the questions asked were similar to questions asked at previous forums, and they reflected the concerns voiced among students engaged in private conversations. One such concern was the availability of a theater season next year. Dr. Wooster assured the students that there will still be a full theater season next year.
One of the last questions directed at the three administrators was why alumni and students were not asked to help with recruiting for these low-enrollment areas.
Kirksey responded, saying, “We have known and we have been talking about low enrollment in those majors for a while. We have not pulled a group of students together from one department and said ‘hey your numbers are dwindling,’ because that is not your role as a student. Your job is to learn and go out in the world and apply it. It is our job to find a way. We are also up against a hard national trend of cutting art programs. The college demographics have been dwindling.”
While ENC students will continue to fight for a change from this drastic course of action and hope to see the majors reinstated, there is no certainty what will happen next year.