Prioritization Criteria for Academic Program Retention and Elimination
When making decisions concerning academic programs:
- Take into account the program’s ability to place its students into jobs and/or graduate and professional degree programs.
- Take into account the cost per student. Higher cost per student programs should be reviewed to determine if the cost is justified. The justification for higher costs could be higher number of students within the major, strong placement in the job market or graduate programs, increased funds based on the state formula to offset the high cost per student ratio, or other criteria found on this list.
- Take into account the number of students within the major. Majors that attract larger numbers of students should be considered later in the process.
- Take into account core curricula. There are programs that are simply fundamental to a university education. These areas, should be kept as “in tact” as possible to keep the university’s foundation as an institution of higher learning strong.
- Take into account a program’s being unique. If a program is unique to the UL system or a niche here at Southeastern, it could be a draw for the university. That is a selling point and should be considered a positive.
- Take into account whether the program offers support for other majors. Programs that, if cut, will take large numbers of classes away from other majors should be considered later in the process.
- Take companion programs into account. If a program shares courses and faculty, the programs should be collected into a single program. If programs split in the past can be re-wed now to create a cost savings, that should be considered as well.
- Take into account academic programs whose faculty, staff, and administrators do not offer academic service vital to students in that major. The personnel within that major could be reduced and the program housed in an existing budget unit.
- Take into account the workforce needs of the state, i.e., does the program support a critical need within the state?
- Take into account redundancies between programs. Using criteria noted within this document, redundancies between programs that result in a cost savings should be eliminated.
- Take into account the cultural benefits of a program along with its simple cost ratio. Does the program have an impact on the local culture as well as having an impact on the students?
- Take into account a program's ability to recruit and retain high quality professors and students.
- Take into account the program’s contribution to promoting and enhancing the educational and cultural level and the general health and well-being of the surrounding region that the university serves.
- Take into account the program’s contribution to the continuing educational enhancement of members of the various professions in the region that the university serves.
- Take into account the program’s demonstrated ability to obtain external funding when funding sources for the discipline in question are available to universities like Southeastern.
- Take into account whether an area of study associated with an eliminated major can instead be offered as a minor or concentration in another degree program.
Criteria for consideration when making decisions concerning outreach programs:
- Relevance of the activity/program to the overall institutional mission including the
“collegiate experience” by students.
1.Ability of the program/activity to be refocused/reinvented so as to fit instructional and/or work force/training needs including field experience opportunities.
2.Ability to contribute to the success of other programs/activities achieving its goals.
- Degree to which the activity/program is financially self-sufficient; potential for
the activity/program to increase in financial self-reliance.
1.Ability to convert to a collaborative endeavor with another university program/activity or an outside organization in order to reduce costs.
2.Program/activity administration exhibiting sound budgetary practices to eliminate reductions or resources/clientele from other means including grants.
- Relationship of the activity/program to the core instructional mission.
- Number of students or potential students involved and/or impacted by the program/activity including but not limited to field experiences and research initiatives.
- Number of faculty (and academic departments/programs) involved and/or impacted by the activity/program including but not limited to research initiatives.
- Magnitude of the community impact of the activity/program as measured by number of participants, value of economic impact, etc.
- Opportunities to help the university initiate or grow valuable community ties that provide economic or political value to the institution.
- Perceived importance of the program to the university’s community constituents.
1.Impact on the success of a niche program/activity/service at the university.
2.Impact of program reduction/elimination on former, current and future donors to the university.
- Projected time frame for the reduction/combination/elimination of a program/activity and time frame savings will be captured.
- Degree to which the program/activity promotes the Southeastern brand and public image
1.Impact of a niche program at Southeastern.
2.Impact on Southeastern’s competitive advantage.
- Degree to which the elimination of the program/activity would result in vacancies to all or parts of facilities and the cost involved in maintaining those vacant facilities.
- The actual monetary savings to the university if the program/activity is removed.
- Amount of FTE-positions and time required of faculty, staff, and administrators who are not directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program/activity.
- Capacity for an otherwise viable program to be rebuilt if funding becomes available in the future.