Dean of Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Fr. Gregory Kalscheur announced the end of the Morrissey College Honors Program in a email sent to Honors Program students on Friday afternoon. Although the 380 students currently enrolled in the program will have the option to complete the program, no first-year students will be admitted to the program after the class of 2021.
The decision to end the Honors Program is the result of "several years of deliberation" in the time since the University Core Curriculum renewal started in 2012, according to Fr. Kalscheur's letter.
"Since 2012, this ongoing process of Core renewal has become a vital part of academic life at Boston College," said Fr. Kalscheur. "As that Core renewal process has unfolded over the last several years, I have been giving careful thought to the role of the Honors Program in the Core Curriculum and in the life of Boston College at this moment in the history of the university."
Fr. Kalscheur noted that the Honors Program was founded in 1958, as "part of an effort to recruit superior students to Boston College and to promote the academic development of the university."
However, as the university has become increasingly selective and developed a challenging undergraduate core curriculum, an Honors program is not necessary, said Fr. Kalscheur.
He pointed to the Scholar of the College, departmental honors programs, and the Core renewal process, which have expanded opportunities to participate in thesis projects with faculty and a "rigorous integrative interdisciplinary core experience" to all undergraduates.
In the same letter, Fr. Kalscheur informed students that Associate Professor of the Practice of the Humanities Chris Constas will become Associate Director of the Perspectives Program for the 2018-2019 academic year and eventually the program's director for the Fall 2019 semester.
Constas, an Honors Program Alumnus with experience teaching in the Perspectives Program, will succeed Professor of the Practice of Philosophy Brian Braman, who has been Director of the Perspectives Program since 1998.
"Even though the Arts and Sciences Honors Program will come to an end, the university remains committed to offering its students, through the four-year Perspectives Program, a distinctive interdisciplinary great books program with an integrative approach to the liberal arts, grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and in service of the Jesuit, Catholic mission of the university," said Fr. Kalscheur.