Such a restructuring will allow for more overall research money, Brigham Young University officials say, but a handful of BYU students and professors are still skeptical.
"The elimination of the Women's Research Institute affects a lot of people," said senior Kathryn Vaggalis, a women's studies minor. "It strikes a chord within us. A 31-year-old program suddenly cut without warning or publicity is kind of iffy, and we're trying to figure out the reason why."
Brigham Young University asserts that the recently announced reorganization and streamlining of the women's studies program, to take effect January 2010, will improve research and financial opportunities.
"The costs associated with running the Women's Research Institute can now be channeled into expanding the resources for research and creative … activities pertaining to women," said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins.
The institute's budget will go toward a new, larger $25,000 annual grant for a faculty research project related to women's research, plus other, smaller grants to be distributed through the associate academic vice president's office for research.