Loyola shelves food studies program


Cristian Orellana

Julia Gollobit, food studies junior, pushes food studies books of a desk in Monroe Library. After its first year in existence, the food studies program was suspended for the 2018-2019 school year and its future remains uncertain. Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Madison Mcloughlin

While New Orleans is widely renowned for its food culture, attracting tourists and students alike, the city will now have one fewer food studies program.

Loyola has temporarily suspended the food studies program after only one year due to a lack of demand, according to Maria Calzada, interim provost.

“The program attracted just one new first-year student this fall semester,” Calzada said. “Suspending further admission into the program will allow us to review the curriculum and the potential demand for the program to determine if a change is needed or whether we need to eventually cancel the program.”

Introduced in fall 2017, Loyola’s food studies program included courses in food systems, culture and policy. Additionally, the program involved classes about the history, health and sociology of food.

Although Daniel Mintz, food studies program coordinator, was saddened by the news of the suspension of his program, he said he understands the university’s decision.

“I respect the difficulty of the decision to suspend it and the care that Loyola took in making that decision,” Mintz said. “Faced with limited resources and a pressing need to balance the university’s budget, Loyola and the food studies faculty recognized that the university would not be able to support the program’s growth in the immediate future.”

The future of programs is determined by an evaluation of student demand as well as Loyola’s Jesuit mission, according to Calzada.

“We are committed to delivering programs that are well supported and make decisions on new faculty hires by taking enrollment and demand into account,” she said. “Similarly, we look to see how we can reinvigorate programs with lower levels of demand so that they can benefit our students.”

The students currently in the food studies program will be able to finish the program and earn a food studies degree. Julia Gollobit, food studies junior, was not expecting the program to be suspended.

“I was shocked and disappointed when I found out,” she said. “However, they are working with me and the other food studies majors to still graduate through the program. It might have been a little ambitious of Loyola to try to start the program in the first place. There are still only a few classes offered for it.”

Mintz said he is proud of the current food studies students and the excellent work that they continue to do. He is optimistic about the future of the program.

“I hope that the program can return to active status when Loyola is on firmer financial footing,” Mintz said. “I still believe that a fully resourced food studies program would be an asset to Loyola and to the city of New Orleans.”



In addition to the food studies program being suspended, the classical studies program combined several of their tracks into a single track for the 2018-2019 school year.

“This was done in order to better utilize our existing faculty resources and in response to student interest,” Calzada said. “We are committed to providing our students with the best curriculum and classroom experience possible at Loyola, and that requires continuous evaluation of all of our programs.”