Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Evans is recommending a teach-out of the SNHU Culinary program. On April 3, Evans sent out an email to students who are enrolled in the culinary program that outlined his reasoning for this recommendation.
Evans offered a similar recommendation in January of 2017. His main concerns were the high cost associated with running the program and declining enrollment. The recommendation was met with backlash from current and former culinary students which led to Evans changing his recommendation.
In the fall of 2018, the incoming culinary class studied under a new, more condensed version of the program that involved one year of classes and culinary labs followed by a year-long internship. This incoming class was much smaller than previous classes and enrollment for the upcoming fall 2018 semester has not met the goal.
On March 9, Evans met with current culinary students and faculty to discuss the future of the program.
“Instead of the major…I’ve proposed that we offer minors instead, so a minor in culinary and a minor in baking that would be open to students across the campus,” said Evans. “Every program is intact, we’re going to teach them all out until the very last student gets their degree in hand.”
Many questions surrounding the future of the program were raised during the meeting. The utilization of The Quill, the on-campus restaurant run by the culinary department, was one major topic of discussion. Several students expressed interest in continuing lunch and dinner service at The Quill. More specifically, the students requested one lunch and one dinner service each week during the upcoming fall semester.
Other ideas brought forth by the students included revamping the Cup of Love Café and hiring paid student workers to help operate The Quill.
Presently, the culinary department has its own receiving center which provides all the products used within the program. Next semester, all products will be sourced through Sodexo. With this change arises the possibility of students being able to use their meal plan money at The Quill and Cup of Love Café.
The students who attended the meeting also voiced several concerns that they have with Evan’s recommendation. These concerns involved the integrity of the minors, ensuring an uncompromised experience for current students and how the new minors would be promoted.
The final decision regarding the future of the program is to be made by President of University College Patty Lynott, who is in the process of discussing the situation with other groups. Lynott is to announce her decision sometime in late April.
The exact logistics of the new minors have not been determined and how the program will function given the changes in curriculum is not yet clear. Nevertheless, Evans is optimistic about the new approach.
“I’m really excited about the minors myself, for a lot of different reasons…they are something that current students can take advantage of as opposed to only perspective students,” said Evans. “There can be a junior English major right now who sees this in the fall and says, ‘I want to do that’ and signs up for these minors.”