Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Teach-out plans in place for eliminated Communication Studies and Modern Language programs

Friday, March 5, 2021
Graphic by Alisha Reisenbichler

Students may no longer declare a degree in German education and Spanish education, as well as minors in communication for health professionals, communication for legal professionals and foreign language-Spanish.

The Department Chair for Communication Studies and Modern Languages Lesli Pace said the German and Spanish education programs were “two big programs that were eliminated” recently due to the Academic Affairs’ prioritization process. For more information on the process, visit

The decision was made Dec. 18 for the spring semester. Students already in the program have until 2023 to finish their degrees.

“We worked on developing teach-out plans to make sure everybody was able to do what they needed to do,” Pace said. “The students who were in the two minors in communication won’t be affected at all because the courses that they need are still going to be offered in a regular rotation.”

Pace said the faculty at Southeast worked closely with each other, creating a teach-out plan for the remainder of the students within the fields of studies mentioned.

“We tried to reassure everybody that we weren’t going to just leave them high and dry,” Pace said. “We wanted them to have a way to finish up what they started.”

Pace said cutting a few of those majors and minors will actually open up space and time where faculty was struggling to cover for students who were going through those programs, allowing professors to give more time and energy to students.

“I think that it may open up space for the language faculty to continue to build and grow the regular majors and minors in languages because of how difficult it was to navigate within our own department as well as with the education curriculum,” Pace said.

Along with the program cuts, Pace said there were also faculty eliminations because of “the budget deficit the university is facing.” Two tenure-track lines were lost, one within the communication side of the department and the other within the language side of the department. Pace stated there is a search for a professor at the tenure track position in Spanish as well as a new faculty member in corporate communications.

Using the budget more effectively has been a new goal within the program. Pace said with faculty not able to travel to conferences or holding events, there has been some money saved.

“We are just sitting in front of our computers, so we are seeing things sort of go up and down with our budgets because of the way that things have changed,” Pace said. “I am so hopeful that if we can kind of normalize again in the fall that maybe we will be able to start using some of that money again. Maybe we will start to see the budget deficit that we were facing from the state deficit level out a little bit.”

Pace said she sees the commitment of professors and faculty in the attempt to make sure the success of students is met.

“This is a faculty that is certainly invested in the students,” Pace said.