A Message from the President
February 28, 2011 - Low-Completer Program Review
Several weeks ago I communicated with the campus about the recent BOR (Board of Regents) Low-Completer Program Review and the resulting initiation of the second phase in our academic program review process that began last year (January 28, 2011 Message). Since that time, our Provost, deans, departments and Academic Program Review Task Force have worked diligently to develop the basis for our responses to the BOR Low-Completer Program Review. While this work will also form the basis for recommendations about other future potential academic program eliminations, at this time we are only making recommendations about those programs the BOR identified as low-completer programs given their criteria for this particular review.
Our deadline for the initial responses to the Low-Completer Program Review was Monday, February 21. The responses were submitted to and reviewed by the University of Louisiana System which will forward the responses to the BOR today, February 28. The Regents will make final decisions about the disposition of these low-completer programs at their meeting in late April.
You will recall from my prior communication that Southeastern has 19 low-completer programs that appear on the current BOR Report. Our Academic Program Review Task Force did an excellent job and developed well-thought-out recommendations regarding these low-completer programs. I reviewed the report of the Task Force in detail with our Provost, and I concurred with the Task Force as to their recommendations for continuation or termination of low-completer programs.
Following the work of the Task Force, Dr. Bourg worked extensively with the deans and department heads of relevant programs to formulate and refine our specific responses and plans to be presented to the UL System and BOR. I want to thank Dr. Bourg and the members of the Academic Program Review Task Force, as well as the department heads and faculty members of affected programs who worked together to develop our institutional responses.
Along with Dr. Bourg and our academic deans, the following senior tenured faculty members from each of our academic colleges served on the Task Force:
Dr. Nick Norton, College of Science and Technology
Dr. Tom Fick, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Lillian Steigler, College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Dr. Mike Budden, College of Business
Dr. Peggy Rolling, College of Education and Human Development
I especially want to thank these faculty members for their hard work. As we were given a very short response time line, the Task Force met for long hours, including into the evening on several days. Their commitment to fulfilling the charge of the Task Force, along with the long-term success of Southeastern, is evident by their efforts.
Each of the 19 low-completer programs, along with our institutional recommendation, appears below. Please keep in mind that all programs on the low-completer are at risk of termination by the BOR. It has been made abundantly clear that recommendations for continuation will have to be vigorously defended. Also please note that all of the program review criteria were considered in arriving at the recommendations, although the information below reflects only the primary/summary reason.
|Degree Program||Institutional Recommendation|
|Mild/Moderate Special Education K-12, MAT||Program was previously redesigned and was to be removed from the degree inventory - no action necessary.|
|Special Education - Mild/Moderate, BA||Program was previously redesigned and was to be removed from the degree inventory - no action necessary.|
|Art Education K-12, BA||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within the Art BA program.|
|Family/Consumer Science Educ, 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Mathematics Education 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within Mathematics BS program.|
|Music Education - Instrumental, BME||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within Music BM program.|
|Music Education - Vocal, BME||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within Music BM program.|
|Health and Physical Ed, BS||Recommend continue program - enrollment and completer numbers in BOR report are misleading due to prior program reconfiguration.|
|Biology Education 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within Biology BS program.|
|Chemistry Education 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Physics Education 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Spanish Education K-12, BA||Recommend terminate and consolidate as a concentration within Spanish BA program.|
|Speech Education 6-12, BS||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Spanish, BA||Recommend program continuation - curricular overlap between Spanish and Spanish Ed - consolidated program completers exceed low-completer threshold.|
|Liberal Arts Studies, BA||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Mathematics, BS||Recommend program continuation - curricular overlap between Mathematics and Mathematics Ed - consolidated program completers exceed low-completer threshold.|
|Physics, BS||Recommend continue program due to workforce relevance and inter-institutional collaboration.|
|Chemistry, BS||Recommend continue program due to workforce relevance and graduate successes.|
|Cultural Resource Management, BA||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
|Health Studies, Health Education conc, BS||Recommend terminate due to lack of student demand.|
While Southeastern had 19 degree programs on the low-completer list, there are 20 responses listed above. This is the result of two distinct options (vocal and instrumental) in the Bachelor of Music Education degree program, with both options requiring separate responses.
For certain education programs recommended for termination, students can still become certified to teach at the K-12 level in those subjects through the AAlternative Certification@ process. These programs include Family and Consumer Science Education, Chemistry Education, Physics Education and Speech Education.
Several of the programs recommended for termination presently have no student enrollment while others exhibit extremely low enrollments. All programs recommended for termination with any current student enrollment include phase-out plans that should allow most or all students to complete their degrees.
Finally, there are no terminations of tenured or tenure-track faculty anticipated as a result of this low-completer review process if our institutional recommendations for these programs are adopted by the BOR. While we believe these recommendations reflect the appropriate dispositions of the programs, and while we believe the rationales for continuation of programs are very strong, we also recognize that it is within the authority of the Regents to decide the ultimate fate of these programs. Should the Regents not accept our recommendations for continuation of certain low-completer programs, faculty terminations in affected programs likely will occur.
Presentation of final recommendations to the BOR Academic Affairs Committee will occur on April 27, 2011, and that will be the final opportunity for any faculty or students who may potentially be affected to speak up on behalf of their programs. Furthermore, as this is an externally initiated review, actions regarding the low-completer programs will not be reviewed and approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. However, issues related to any faculty termination notification, appeals, etc., should they occur, will be consistent with ULS Program Discontinuance policies.
We will keep the campus informed as the process unfolds.