Reflecting on Academic Year 2014-15

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We cannot let the summer go by without reflecting on some of last year’s challenges and accomplishments. This blog post will not capture all that happened, but set the stage for the year ahead.

Provost Challenge: We completed ALL of the 24 funded Provost Challenge projects (yay!!!). Thank you to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of people. Our faculty and staff created new online programs and degrees, refined policy and created credit for prior learning assessments, used technology to enhance critical student services, and saved students money by reducing textbook costs, just to name a few. The work of reTHINK PSU continues with flexible degrees and pathways to success.Reflection1

Post-Tenure Review: The Faculty Senate, AAUP, and the Administration worked through numerous iterations of post-tenure review (PTR) drafts. Not a Senate meeting went by where PTR was not on the agenda in some form or fashion. A final recommendation on the PTR policy was made at the June Senate meeting. We have worked collaboratively with AAUP over the summer on the implementation plan and we launched the process in August for the first two cohorts.

Budget: We began the year with a new budget model (Performance-Based Budgeting) and an ambitious goal to eliminate a $5.4 million deficit in the Academic Affairs’ Educational and General (E&G) fund. We put in place a plan to balance the budget using Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) planning and Performance-Based Budgeting (PBB) with $2.4M in reductions and projecting $3M of revenue growth. The budget reductions were not easy to make—especially after consecutive years of reductions. Our colleagues in Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA) worked closely with our deans and faculty to help us meet our revenue requirement. This year we are funding all new growth and working to refine the planning process. See my vlog for more details on the Integrated Planning-Enrollment & Budget.

Interest-Based Bargaining: AAUP, PSUFA and the Administration all agreed to use Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) for the upcoming contracts. I have been impressed by the commitment everyone has demonstrated. AAUP and the Administration, and PSUFA and the Administration, have agreed to issue joint communications as agreements are reached. Bargaining with AAUP and AFT will continue into Fall 2015.

Graduate Recruitment and Admissions: In November 2014, we established a graduate recruitment/admissions unit (for both domestic and international students) in the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS), centralizing staff and resources from the University Admissions Office in Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA). While the former structure had served us well, the move was made in recognition of growth in our graduate programs and the need to coordinate all graduate student functions. One of the huge tangible benefits is an online graduate application that went live on September 1st.

Joint OHSU-PSU School of Public Health: We created the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) (new website to launch soon) based on a recommendation from the Faculty Senate in June. Faculty Senate committees (The Educational Policy Committee and the Faculty Senate Budget Committee) did their due diligence in reviewing a significant amount of information and proposals. Faculty members and the School’s administration began the rigorous process of seeking accreditation by submitting our self-study in April to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

As we move into the new academic year, stay updated on news, events, and University changes posted regularly on the Academic Affairs website. I welcome comments from any of you on other noteworthy accomplishments, as this post only highlighted a few and we know there are many more. Thank you again to everyone for all your great work.

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