Fresno Pacific University drops 16 degree programs, issue layoffs as deficit looms

Around 10 percent of the university’s faculty will be laid off because of the decision.

Fresno Pacific University is suspending 16 programs as part of a massive overhaul for the Central Valley’s Christian university. 

The university is also doing away with its structure of having five schools, instead consolidating down to two schools. 


The big picture: The thirteen undergraduate programs being cut are Arts Administration, Biblical/theological studies, Chemistry B.A., Chemistry B.S., Graphic design, Mathematics B.A., Mathematics B.S., Applied mathematics, Philosophy, Political science, Pre-law, Spanish and Theater. 

  • Bachelor’s degree completion program Computer information systems is being cut, as well as graduate and seminary level programs M.A. in sports administration and M.A. in theology, Old Testament. 
  • The 88 students currently enrolled in those programs will be offered the classes and resources they need to complete their degrees on time. 
  • Courses in many of the programs being cut will still be available for general education requirements and requirements for other majors. 
  • Along with the 11 faculty members who will see their jobs end in June 2024, Fresno Pacific will not fill 12 faculty positions that are either term, currently open or will become open due to retirement. 
  • Fresno Pacific will no longer have the School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Natural Sciences, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and the School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences. Instead, the university will just have a School of Arts and Sciences and a School of Graduate and Professional Studies. 
  • Fresno Pacific was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, losing over 1,000 students since 2020. Enrollment did start to bounce back this year, increasing by 10 percent. 

What they’re saying: The university said in a statement that the realignment will help deal with a projected deficit and free up resources to improve the student experience and explore new academic programs. 

  • “We are in a dynamic and complex time in higher education,” said Fresno Pacific President Andre Stephens in a statement. “A season that calls for courageous leadership to face the historic challenges and emerging opportunities before us. A season that calls us to renew our imagination and cast our vision to see the students of the Central Valley and beyond achieve their dreams. Our renewed focus must be on providing an excellent, holistic, biblically integrated education.”
  • Fresno Pacific alum Justin St. George issued a petition calling for the resignation of the FPU Board of Trustees.
  • “Today’s announcement indicating a third wave of layoffs despite accepting millions in COVID bailout money indicates years of financial mismanagement at the highest of levels on campus,” St. George said in the petition.
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