The university is addressing a $45 million budget shortfall. The university Board of Governors voted Friday to drop 28 of its majors, or about 8%, and cut 147 of the faculty positions, or around 5%, on its Morgantown campus.
Among the cuts are one-third of education department faculty and the entire world language department. Dozens of speakers, including students and faculty, vehemently opposed the cuts during a public hearing Thursday before the board.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that among other things, colleges are facing the reality of a falling birth rate in America which means a reduction in the nation's pool of young people and therefore demand for a college education.
The Journal analysis also said that during the pandemic, many students decided that Zoom classes were a waste of time and money. And, it contended a tight labor market made it more attractive to move directly into the workforce instead of spending thousands and incurring debt to earn a degree.