Academic Program Review Update
Dear EKU Faculty:
As was to be expected, the release of the list of programs under review has created a great deal of interest and caused a similar amount of angst. We find ourselves in this position thanks in large part to the actions of others: the reduction of our state appropriation and the proposed performance-based funding model, which is still under development. In order to meet and overcome these challenges, we must be deliberate in our thinking and far-sighted in our vision. To provide further information regarding the recommendations from the Academic Budget Review Sub-Committee, please see the attached FAQs.
One important question is whether the affected academic programs will have the opportunity to address their records of graduating only small numbers of students or propose how the program might be revised to attract new students at lower cost. The answer is, “yes,” this opportunity will be provided.
The department chair or program coordinator for each program being recommended for suspension will be scheduled for a 15-minute presentation/proposal at the Council on Academic Affairs on September 15, 2016.
Each program recommended for suspension should consider factors such as the following in preparing their presentation: What will be done differently to reverse the 3- and 8-year low-enrollment trends? What is the essential content of the discipline that needs to be retained to serve significant numbers of students? What are the critical content areas required to support other majors? Are there opportunities to modify programs to be more in-line with market demands? Are there new collaborations that might be more efficient and more marketable? How might we develop degree programs within our current offerings and faculty resources that will be more eagerly sought by both students and potential employers?
Another important question is: Is this budget process about reducing our support for a liberal education or deviating from our core mission as a regional comprehensive university committed to educating students in our service region and beyond?
Our answer is an emphatic: “Absolutely no.” It is, however, about ensuring our degree offerings attract students to EKU, provide them with a strong academic experience while here, and prepare them to be successful after graduation. It is also about using our limited resources as wisely as possible and adjusting our budgets to conform to the new reality.
We look forward to working with you as we develop plans, programs, and degree offerings which will serve our institution now and into the future. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Michael Benson and Janna Vice
Published on August 25, 2016