Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Under-performing programs being reviewed

Posted on October 24, 2011 in News
By Paul Koenig

Programs not graduating five students a year on average over the last three years are currently being reviewed by the Faculty Senate’s Subcommittee on Strategic Planning and Academic Program Review.

According to Caswell, the subcommittee will evaluate each program, considering such factors as enrollment, retention and graduation trends over time, resources allocated to and generated by the program, and the support it provides to USM’s mission. The review is mandated by the University of Maine System Trustees as part of the System’s strategic plan, “New Challenges, New Directions.”

The committee will submit its recommendations to Provost John Wright by Dec. 30.

Wright will then review the strengths and weaknesses, work with the faculty in the programs and the Associated Faculty of the Universities of Maine, as needed, to inform his recommendations. Next Wright will submit his recommendations on whether to invest in, sustain, suspend or eliminate a program to USM President Selma Botman.

After considering the recommendations, Botman submits her recommendations to the University of Maine System.

If a program is suspended, the program can implement a plan to increase enrollment, graduation rates and address any other considerations raised during the review. No one can be admitted to a program during suspension. They’re given up to three years to develop and implement a plan, but Caswell said they typically don’t use all three years. A decision is then made on whether to re-institute the program or eliminate it.

According to an email from Caswell: “The ultimate goal of this entire process is not to target or punish programs but to ensure that we’re using resources strategically so that the university and its programs are offering the best education possible.”

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  • Satwood

    That basically places almost the entire pure Sciences department on watch and possible suspension. I don’t care if the intent is not to “punish” a particular department; fundamental sciences have historically low graduation rates throughout the nation. It seems as though we are handing over our higher educational system to the Business & Humanities depts. while eliminating the programs this country; this State in particular needs in order to bolster innovation, new technologies, and ultimately Business & Humanities jobs. The Sciences are far too important for Maine and the economy, not to mention the credibility of the college itself.