Academic program prioritization results released

On Dec. 14 Guilford announced the milestone completion of a five-year initiative, which is designed to guide the allocation of the college’s financial resources and faculty to the academic departments.

Results of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP), formally known as the Program Prioritizing Report (PPR) were released to the Guilford community by way of the college intranet on Jan. 20.

The final report included detailed data tables, a rubric that can be used to analyze the results, and a copy of the consultant’s report.

According the Dec. 14 news release, “the effort grew out of 2005 strategic plan efforts to assure good stewardship of college resources, one of the institution’s core values.”

The ranking placed programs in one of three categories: high, medium, and low based on criteria approved by the faculty.

Top-tier programs are those that have demonstrated the greatest potential for growth and improvement with additional resources. Lowest in the ranking are weak in multiple areas and would require significantly more resources, and should therefore be considered for consolidation or laying down.

Those departments ranked medium and high show strengths in areas for growth and will receive greater priority for resources.

Though APP ranking has been linked to potential program cuts, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Adrienne Israel told the Guilfordian that programs will not be laid-down and cut if they scored low priority for allocation of resources in the initiative.

“First of all the college is bound to keep all majors that we have and make sure that if students are enrolled in majors they get to finish,” said Israel. “Just because a program is a low priority for enhancement resources, does not mean it’s a low priority for the college.”

The APP report and recommendations will be submitted to the College’s Strategic Long Range Planning Committee and Curriculum Subcommittee for implementation.

“The college has to decide which and how many of these kinds of programs can be sustained over the long haul and at what rate,” said Israel. “The group reviewing the APP recommended the merger of some programs, however the SLRP will have to analyze the recommendations for future action.”

Israel said that the president and board of trustees will have the final say of how the plan will be implemented by the college.

President and Professor of Political Science Kent Chabotar said in a released statement that implementation of the initiative would improve the academic reputation of the college.

“It signifies an effort to make choices, focus resources and attention, and achieve distinction in specific programs,” said Chabotar.

Israel agreed with Chabotar and said at the end of the day the decisions made are for sustaining the college.

“Whatever we do at Guilford should be for the benefit of our students,” said Israel. “Not just to promote our own interests, careers, and disciplines; if this is not the best thing for our students now at Guilford, we should do what’s best for our students.”