West Virginia University has slated the program for the bachelor’s in puppetry to be discontinued at the end of the school year.
In a letter sent last month, the Provost’s Office recommended the program be shuttered. The recommendations are still being finalized and the Board of Governors will have the final vote on the program later this year.
The WVU puppetry program is currently one of only two such programs in the nation. University of Connecticut is the other program.
The move comes as part of ongoing academic transformation efforts by the Provost’s Office aimed at attracting new students to the University.
In the letter notifying the program, the Provost’s Office leaves open the door for puppetry to continue as an area of emphasis, if the School of Theatre and Dance wishes to explore that route.
This action has been met with resistance from the School of Theatre and Dance and the surrounding community.
The WVU Theatre Student Organization started a petition to save the WVU puppetry program that has already collected over 700 signatures.
“The program is fully self funded and DOES NOT COST THE UNIVERSITY A SINGLE CENT,” wrote Alex Ashworth, an alumni of the puppetry program, in a statement shared with the Daily Athenaeum. “The program is an incredibly intimate, small, and close knit program rich with creativity, immense enthusiasm, and lovers of bringing the inanimate to life!”
The bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis on contemporary and integrative performance is also slated to be discontinued as well as a number of other art and foreign language programs.
Read the full list on the website for the Office of the Provost.