Academic Affairs is tasked with the allocation of resources to academic units. These decisions require that the needs and wants of each department or program be considered in the context of the needs and wants of other units. In our current resource environment, we would benefit from having a transparent, on-going process that prioritizes our academic programs and facilitates decisions about resource investment and strategic alignment. In accordance with Objective 6.6d of the current university strategic plan, “Grounded in Mission,” and in keeping with shared governance, Academic Affairs formed an Academic Program Prioritization Task Force in Fall 2019 to develop a process and criteria for program prioritization.
The task force is co-chaired by Lucy Rinehart, Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Faculty, and Scott Paeth, Faculty Council President and Professor of Religious Studies. Other members include six faculty, selected by Faculty Council, and two deans, appointed by the provost: Michael DeAngelis, Professor of Communication; Tom Donley, Professor of Economics, Associate Dean in the College of Business; Sue Fogel, Associate Professor of Marketing; Michele Morano, Professor and Chair of English; Alice Stuhlmacher, Professor and Chair of Psychology; and Chris Tirres, Associate Professor of Religious Studies; David Miller, Dean of the College of Computing and Digital Media; Paul Zionts, Dean of the College of Education.
The task force will oversee the academic program prioritization process. Specifically, members will
- develop the criteria to be used in evaluating academic programs
- determine the weights assigned to these criteria
- determine and request the data that will be used in evaluating programs per these criteria
- serve as a resource for the colleges during program evaluation
- review the reports produced by the colleges
- produce a summary report for the provost
The task force is expected to deliver a report to the provost by the end of Academic Year 2019-2020. The expected outcomes of the prioritization study include
- shared understanding of meaningful indicators of program health
- improved access to data resources for grounding decisions at all levels of the organization
- enhanced sense of institutional stewardship
- guidance for future university investment in program development
- a balanced program portfolio, well-aligned with strategic goals