I want to begin by saying I love DePauw. I am writing today because of how much this university means to me. DePauw bills itself on being the liberal arts experience. I chose DePauw because of its unique programs, educational opportunities, and its commitment to being a home for people from across America and around the world. The changes that DePauw is making are a far cry from the school they promised.

As an honor scholar, I understand the program has issues. But DePauw administration cannot say they are “sunsetting the program” and “reworking it.” Those are two different things. They cannot ignore students' questions at meetings. They cannot tell students Ho-Scho is too difficult for the faculty to manage when they did not inform the faculty of the decision to cut the program sooner. It is true that the professors are being spread too thin. But is Ho-Scho the problem or are faculty not getting the support they need? I love being an honor scholar because it feels like the dream of the liberal arts is realized. Interdisciplinary learning that focuses on student discovery and discussion is an incredible experience for students and faculty who are usually teaching about topics outside their traditional course load that they are incredibly passionate about. If DePauw administration is reworking the program to be open to all students, they should at least tell us how they are reimagining the program, instead of trying to give it a quiet death. 

I understand that plans change. DePauw has to find ways to financially support itself. However, their current announcements do not bode well for future financial investment. Announcing the cessation of our New York Posse program, Honor Scholar, and half of the Music Education degrees on the Wednesday afternoon before the last day of finals is not conducive to any winning strategy. It only illuminates the shadow the administration attempted to hide in. They knew people would be mad and they wanted to find a way to make it harder for students to fight back. Many of us have left campus, so we cannot protest. Professors are scrambling to put grades in. We cannot have immediate responses because we have tests to do, bags to pack, and graduations to prepare for. There is no way this announcement wasn’t intentional. It was in every way in poor taste. If the campus wants to change focus, it could do us the favor of being honest that it wants to change our ecosystem. DePauw cannot hide from the people who make it money. What happens when students no longer want to pay to go here? DePauw subsists off of money from alumni. What happens when they graduate and do not want to donate to the university?

You are transforming the ecosystem of DePauw without asking the students and faculty. Without them, DePauw cannot be a university. So why do you insist on keeping us in the dark and using meaningless corporate jargon to fluff up your actions? As an English major, I have learned quickly that the best way to get your point across is to be clear and concise. If these programs are being cut for money tell us that. If the programs are being cut for the business school tell us that. DePauw, do not say “We are refocusing” unless you are going to tell us precisely what that focus is. We aren’t stupid. We’re the students and faculty you hold to a rigorous academic standard. 

DePauw prides itself on being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. It is part of the reason I chose to go here. So why are they focusing on recruiting efforts in the Midwest? And how is DePauw going to recruit a “diverse, equitable, and inclusive student body” when they are raising tuition? How are they going to create a “diverse, equitable, and inclusive” student body when they’ve cut ties with the New York Posse? When they cut Ho-Scho, which offers classes about any issue under the sun and allows us to learn and understand the world in a different light with each new perspective offered. How is DePauw going to create a “diverse, equitable, and inclusive” student body by founding a Business School (an institution that has been historically problematic at other universities when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion)? How are they going to create a “diverse, equitable, and inclusive” student body if the students are disillusioned with the promises of the school the second they arrive on campus?

If the administration believes these changes will help our university continue to be the liberal arts school, they need to tell us how. How do they plan on offering Ho-Scho classes to everyone? How do they plan to make the campus diverse? How do they plan to make this business school unique and welcoming to all? 

DePauw, do better. Be honest. If you are going to create a business school you cannot conduct your business the way you have done so. And if you do continue to hide your actions, at least have a better response prepared. 

- Anne Gregg '25