Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Academic Program Prioritization planning begins

In the fall 2013, I proposed to the Faculty Senate that we engage in an academic program prioritization (APP) process (my October 2013 Faculty Senate comments and PowerPoint sides can be found at http://www.pdx.edu/faculty-senate/senate-schedules-materialst).  From the onset I stated that this would need to be a faculty-driven process and that it could only be done with the endorsement and work of the Faculty Senate.  Over the next several months there was quite a bit of conversation about Why we should do this? What would it accomplish? and What were the provost’s motives?.

These questions were followed by fruitful conversations whereby the faculty discussed the pros and cons of assessing the entire array of academic programs we offer and determining if that array reflects the university we wish to be now and in the future.  As many of you know, we have a very rigorous process for the approval of new programs, but we fall short in taking a university-wide view of programs once they are approved.

The Senate conversations (chronicled in senate minutes throughout FY14) led to a joint charge in June 2014 (see Appendix D-1 of June 2, 2104 senate materials- http://www.pdx.edu/faculty-senate/sites/www.pdx.edu.faculty-senate/files/FS_June_14_%20Agenda_finalRv%20%282%29.pdf ) from the Senate and me to create an Academic Program Prioritization Committee (APPC). I wish to applaud the Senate and the Senate Steering Committee for taking a leadership role in this critically important faculty responsibility.

The APPC had its first meeting in July.  Its members were selected by the president based on an open, university-wide nomination process and the recommendation received from the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and the Faculty Advisory Committee.  Committee members include:

Sy Adler, CUPA
Talya Bauer, SBA
Samuel Henry, GSE
Mark Jones, chair, MCECS
Karin Magaldi, COTA
John Rueter, CLAS
Lynn Santelmann, CLAS

Michael Bowman (in capacity of his Library faculty position, but there is also benefit in his role as chair of Faculty Senate Budget Committee)
Steve Harmon, Provost Office
Kathi Ketcheson, OIRP

The committee, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and I heard concerns expressed by some faculty members that there would be an absence of faculty input if this committee began its work over the summer.   We are all very sensitive to this concern; as was the faculty senate in recommending a summer start.  I know from conversations with the committee that there will be no decision making during the summer, but rather some preliminary planning so that conversations and the work can take place with all faculty early this fall.  The committee will soon have a website where its work will be made very public with ongoing opportunities for comments/suggestions.  In addition, they will host numerous open sessions throughout the year to make sure there is adequate input from all faculty. 

I will blog on this topic from time to time to share information and my views.   I welcome your views on this topic


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