By Jeff Sklar
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday January 15, 2003
When President Pete Likins announced his proposals for 16 program eliminations at a press conference yesterday, he opened his presentation with a disclaimer.
They are far from being enacted. Some may never be enacted, and some may be significantly modified.
Students, faculty and staff will all have a chance to speak out on these initial ideas, and administrators will now be charged with carefully reviewing the changes' potential impacts and examining alternatives.
It will be June before Likins officially presents his plans to the Arizona Board of Regents. Between now and then, the proposals will undergo a series of reviews and recommendations from all corners of campus.
The process is called Shared Governance because it ensures that major changes are not made unilaterally, and administrators across the university say it is imperative that as many people as necessary have input in the final decision.
"If I told nobody and (decided) to eliminate the School of Renewable and Natural Resources, they'd be coming with a noose for my neck and they'd have a right to do it," said Gene Sander, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Over the next few weeks, specific administrators who oversee the areas that house programs that might be cut will put together formal proposals for their elimination, Likins said.
Those proposals will include a timetable for elimination, an assessment of the proposed changes' impacts, a cost-benefit analysis of the change, and in many cases, possible alternatives to closure, a document released yesterday by Likins and Davis states.
Once Likins and Davis receive these proposals, they will reevaluate their initial decisions. If they still believe a program should be eliminated and its faculty members moved to a different department, professors affected by the change will offer input.
Unless all affected faculty agree to the change, committees made up of faculty members, staff and students, will make recommendations to Likins.
As these proposals are being assembled, students and other campus community members will be able to offer their opinions at Town Halls and by e-mail, at email@example.com.
The Faculty Senate and Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee will then weigh in based on those proposals, and submit their own recommendations to Likins and Davis. Only after considering those will Likins and Davis determine what they will recommend to the Arizona Board of Regents for closure, Davis said.
SPBAC, which is chaired by Professor of English Jerrold Hogle and includes faculty and administrators, as well as the student body president and a staff member, will make one of the last recommendations before Likins and Davis make their final decision. Already, Hogle said, they have taken SPBAC's input seriously by using the committee's criteria as a key factor in deciding which programs to recommend for elimination.
"We hope and trust that they will very seriously take these review committees and SPBAC into account," Hogle said.