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Academic Affairs Program Prioritization Process Update

Posted by | June 9, 2008

Washington State University, as other distinctive, land grant, research institutions of higher education in this country, has a mission of instruction, scholarship and research, and service. The vision for WSU directs the institution to achieve excellence and pre-eminence in a selected number of areas of scholarship and research while delivering world-class graduate and undergraduate degree programs and making significant contributions to the economic vitality of the State of Washington and beyond.

With few new resources available for investment in strategic priorities, the university must use existing resources in the most efficient manner possible. In order to increase the efficient use of our limited resources Academic Affairs will prioritize programs to place them on a continuum from investment to phase-out. This prioritization process will create a roadmap for investment and reallocation over time.

The Academic Affairs Program Prioritization (A2P2) process has advanced to its final stage. The A2P2 Task Force II completed its work and provided its set of recommendations to the Provost on March 15. These recommendations have been considered by the Provost and his staff, and the Provost’s decisions were released on May 20th. On that date, an open meeting was held to release the Provost’s report. The report was posted on the A2P2 web site (http://academic-prioritization.wsu.edu/decisions/). The Provost’s report consists of three sets of decisions:

  1. General institutional decisions
  2. Cross-college/cross-area decisions
  3. College-specific decisions

For CAHNRS, there are few surprises. Here are the main points:

  1. Phase out the undergraduate major in forestry and retain forestry programs only in support of areas of emphases within natural resources (e.g., wildlife science, water resources management).
  2. Consolidate statistics across the university.
  3. Phase out Community and Rural Sociology from CAHNRS. Combine essential elements in new unit with Natural Resource Sciences and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences or move to Sociology.
  4. Determine the future role of Landscape Architecture and Interior Design in the Interdisciplinary Design Institute. Consider consolidating Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and other appropriate units to form a “school of design.”
  5. Consolidate elements of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Crop and Soil Sciences, Plant Pathology, and Entomology to form appropriate interdisciplinary undergraduate/graduate program(s) in “plant science.”
  6. Reduce the number of course offerings and low enrollment degrees.
  7. Consider moving the Department of Human Development into the new Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts or to the College of Education.
  8. Invest strategically in a specific, chosen area of Biological Systems Engineering (rather than just adding resources to the unit).

Precisely when, or if, any of these changes will take place is, at the moment, not known but I’ll keep you posted.