Proposed Revisions to EM 93-011, Budget-Induced Academic Program Elimination Procedure FS 93-20

Executive Memorandum 93-017

November 30, 1993

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Proposed Revisions to EM 93-011, Budget-Induced Academic Program Elimination Procedure FS 93-20

Upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, and with the concurrence of the Provost, I approve EM 93-017 for implementation.

BUDGET-INDUCED ACADEMIC PROGRAM ELIMINATION PROCEDURE

Introduction

Guidelines exist for the modification or discontinuance of programs. Specifically, Changes in Academic Organization (EM 76-015), Amendment to University Policy on Changes in Academic Organization (EM 80-005), and Guidelines for Discontinuing Programs (EM 89-031) all address this issue. These executive memoranda specify that Faculty Senate consultation and recommendations be an integral part of any academic reorganization process.

The purpose of this document is to facilitate needed discussion and debate by identifying as many expectations as possible in advance. It is designed to clarify the role of the Faculty Senate in the continuance of programs when the discontinuance is in response to budgetary considerations. Although it identifies many of the issues deemed essential for a thorough, open, and complete discussion and debate, this document recognizes that it would be inappropriate to judge all programs by the same standards. The Senate may 1) consider issues not specifically listed in this document and 2) recognize that some issues listed in this document may not be pertinent to a specific case. It requires each faculty senator to reach a decision based on the evidence provided.

It is expected that all appropriate parties will have an opportunity to contribute evidence in a timely fashion. However, it is recognized that urgent need for action may preclude portions of the process outlined here. The Faculty Senate believes that all parties recognize the need for faculty involvement and debate.

Recommended Process to be Followed in the Consideration of Budget-Induced Program Eliminations

The following flow chart depicts the major stages of the advisory role provided by the Senate in connection with program elimination.

Program Eliminations

The Role of the Faculty Senate

The primary purpose of Faculty Senate review of proposals for the elimination of programs due to budget constrictions is to provide the Provost with a carefully considered faculty recommendation based on, among other things, a detailed assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, and costs of a specific program and at least one other alternative (see II.D.5 of this document).

Sources of information needed by the Faculty Senate should include, but are not limited to, the appropriate faculty, students, staff, deans, Institutional Research, the Academic Program and Budget Committee (APBC), and the administration.

Although section II of this document enumerates information to be considered, this list of data is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The Faculty Senate should consider all information which bears on the proposed elimination, regardless of source.

The issues and data enumerated in section II are merely indicators, and any one issue or datum may be appropriate to the assessment of quality in one program and inappropriate in another. In assessing the quality of a program with respect to university goals, as detailed in the University Goals Statement (EM 90-084), each senator should

  • Decide whether issues and data identified in section II offer applicable evidence regarding the merits of the program in question
  • Decide whether the evidence is positive or negative and determine the relative importance of the issue or datum in the analysis
  • Based on all issues and data, determine holistically the relative value of the program being considered for elimination.

Normally, the full process of Faculty Senate consideration will take six weeks: one week lead time; two weeks from introduction to action in the Educational Policies Committee; one week to pass to the Faculty Senate; and two weeks from introduction to action in the Faculty Senate. The Executive Committee or the Senate may alter the normal process if appropriate.

The Role of the Academic Program and Budget Committee

The Faculty Senate will consider the testimony of the APBC as to the accuracy of section II.B.6. and the whole of section II.D. An PBC-approved representative should attend each of the Faculty Senate and EPC meetings to respond to questions regarding these sections.

The Initiation of Proposed Program Eliminations

Budget-induced program elimination may be proposed either by the Provost's Office or by the college or department within which the program under consideration resides. In order to properly debate the merits of the proposal, the Senate must be assured that the proposal has been discussed by the faculty and students of the program considered for elimination and that both the proposal and any responses to the proposal have been completed prior to consideration by the Faculty Senate.

A portion of the information needed for the Senate to debate the merits of proposed eliminations is in section Il of this document. The Senate requests that the proposal and response to the proposal address each of the appropriately numbered points in section II of this document and structure the proposal according to this list.

The Senate must be assured that all involved parties have the opportunity for open debate of the merits of the proposed elimination. It must, therefore, be assured that the unit of the program being considered for elimination has conducted meetings of faculty and students of the program in question to address the appropriately numbered points listed in section 11. The unit should provide written comments on each of the issues.

In order to take action on any proposed program elimination, the Faculty Senate should receive the detailed proposal and response at least one week prior to beginning consideration of the proposed elimination.

Issues and Data to be Considered in Program Elimination Deliberations

(All sections marked with an asterisk (*) require input from APBC. )

Program Description

  • Briefly describe this program, including status as a major, option, minor, credential, or certificate and its relation to other programs. Is it a professional or pre-professional program?
  • Describe this program's relation to General Education.
  • What interdependencies exist between this program and others in regard to service courses?
  • Describe the ways in which this program is unique on this campus, in the CSU system, and statewide. 

Program Quality

  • What was the outcome of the program's last five-year review? Particularly, what were the university committee outside reviewer's assessments of program quality? And what response was made?
  • What assessments have been made by accreditation agencies or other sources? What were the results?
  • Does this program have a strategy for achieving excellence? If so, please elaborate.
  • What are the criteria for assessing faculty strength in teaching and research, as defined in the unit personnel document and other outcome assessment procedures used by the unit? How does the unit rate according to these criteria?
  • How has this program enhanced the University's reputation for excellence?
  • * What are the enrollment trends, including FTE, student/faculty ratio, and number of yearly graduates, for the past five years compared to similar programs both on campus and at other CSU campuses?
  • What are the notable faculty achievements over the past five years which are indicative of excellence (for example, artistic performances, publications, grants and contracts)?
  • The administration and faculty of the program should address the question of how difficult it is to recruit new faculty members for this program. If the current program were eliminated, then reinstated, how difficult would it be to hire new faculty, especially considering issues of quality and diversity?
  • Are there other indications of program quality? Please list.

Responsiveness to Student and Societal Needs

  • What are the social needs? (E.g. , cultural, technological, economic, artistic, scientific. )
  • What is the trend in demand for graduates over the past five years?** Both quantitative and qualitative data regarding placements will be helpful.
  • How does the response to II.C.1 relate to national trends?**
  • Is there a community or regional demand forthe program?** (Political and public relations needs can also be considered here.)
  • How does this program contribute to the University's diversity goals?
  • What input has been obtained from students, especially from student academic organizations?

**See Strategic Plans documents

Cost Effectiveness

(Portions of these data are to be corroborated by APBC. )

  • * What is the faculty position count, including discussion of details' regarding release positions for administration and other non-teaching pursuits?
  • * What is the current funding level, in total dollars, and in funded positions?
  • * What are the five-year trends in both II.D.1 and II.D.2?
  • * How difficult would re-establishment of this program be? (Considerations should include acquisition of specialized facilities and equipment and the availability of qualified technical staff.)
  • * What other alternatives have been considered? The Provost's Office will provide the assessment of its recommendation and at least one other alternative (at a minimum, the alternatives should include consideration of a universitywide across-the-board [horizontal] cut or cuts of non-academic programs. ) Additional alternatives should include various partial measures which would permit the continuity of the program under the diminished circumstances. Analysis and alternatives should address costs, benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of the alternatives. The unit may respond to these alternatives and may suggest other alternatives as well.