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UW Reg 2-13 Program Review FAQS

On July 13, 2021 President Ed Seidel and Provost/Executive Vice President Kevin Carman presented their vision and plan to restructure the University of Wyoming.  Browse the topics below to find information about the plan.

Disclaimer: The responses provided in this FAQ are contingent upon UW Board of Trustees approval.


BUDGET REDUCTIONS AND THE RESTRUCTURING PLAN

State funding to the University has declined in the past 10 years (2010-2020); nearly 25% of that reduction occurred in the past two biennia (2016-2020).  UW’s annual budget was cut by ~10% ($21M) after the Board of Trustees approved the FY21 budget in July 2020, referred to as Step Two budget reductions as it came after budget approval.  This cut required immediate action.  In addition to other measures, 45 vacant faculty positions were eliminated.

Yes.  The University needs to capture $13,625,000 to account for ongoing budget reductions due to declines in state funding and to provide internal reallocations that will support new initiatives. Below is the current forecast:

  • Ongoing reductions (in state funding) that the University covered with one-time monies previously: $3,125,000  

  • Debt service for new student housing and parking facility: $5,000,000  

  • Required reallocations to respond to previous cuts (reallocation of block grant funding to go to the School of Computing in collaboration with Tier One Engineering + Wyoming Innovation Partnership + Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Program + Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation): $5,500,000  

  • Total: $13,625,000

No. There will be non-academic reductions as well.

The proposed plan includes the following cost savings:

  • Total from discontinuations and reorganizations: approximately $4.1 million 

  • Total academic cuts from across the board (generally 3% but budget reduction totals could vary depending on scope of discontinuance, reductions, consolidations, and reductions, and could require reduction in faculty/staff): approximately $1.25 million 

  • Academic policy efficiencies (class size, etc.): $750,000 

  • Employment policies: $1,500,000   

  • Cost savings from consolidations in auxiliaries: $2,153,000 

  • Parking: $500,000 

  • Non-academic reductions (standard 3% reduction for most units, aside from Research and Student Success Initiatives who will receive no cuts): $2,577,000 

  • Additional Step Two Adjustments: $500,000 

  • TOTAL: $13,626,000

By restructuring the University, we will be better positioned to fulfill our land-grant and flagship missions.   Our capacity to provide cutting edge interdisciplinary education, conduct outstanding research and creative endeavors; provide exemplary outreach and extension; and maximize our external funding capacity will be enhanced.  The plan is aimed at increased investment in agriculture, engineering, STEM and computing with a more focused investment and organization for humanities, fine arts, and social sciences - many of which are among the University’s most recognized and productive departments.

Because UW has several months to plan for its next annual budget, targeted and strategic reductions are being proposed in the restructuring plan. While most academic and non-academic units will be impacted by some further budget reductions, no cuts are proposed for the research enterprise, student success, enrollment management, or to the Extension and R&E programs.  Deeper cuts are proposed for underperforming units.

Highly disruptive trends to higher education, the future of work, and the global, national, and state economy are no longer just predicted - they are here, accelerated by the pandemic. Out of every ten students graduating from UW, seven will not stay in Wyoming. UW must pivot its structures towards infrastructure, programs, and organizational structures that will facilitate faculty work in and prepare our students for a world disrupted by AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity threats, and dominated by grand challenges that are best solved by an interdisciplinary lens.  Our structures and programs must also work towards more authentic inclusivity and infuse the entrepreneurial spirit and strongly support creativity and the research enterprise. UW’s financial sustainability depends upon this, as does our students’ success in the world they will enter upon graduation.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS

Per UW Regulation 2-13, Academic Program is defined broadly as: degree program, department or division of instruction, school or college, interdisciplinary program or unit, or other academic program unit. Academic Program does not include academic courses.

Discontinuance: To permanently close a program and discontinue program activities.  The proposed plan includes recommendations for the discontinuance of some degree programs, departments, and schools.

Reorganization: to arrange or organize a program in a new way.  The proposed plan includes reorganizations of degree programs, departments, colleges, and interdisciplinary programs.

Consolidation: to combine programs into a single more effective or coherent whole.  The proposed plan includes the consolidation of degree programs and departments.

Reduction: to make smaller or less in size or amount.  The proposed plan includes the reduction of departments.

Academic Programs (degree programs) being recommended for discontinuance

Degree Program

Degree Program

BA, German

MS, Entomology

BA, French

MBA, Finance 

BA, Secondary Education - Spanish/French/ German Language Education

MBA, Energy

MA, Sociology

MS, Architectural Engineering

MA, Philosophy

MS, Family & Consumer Sciences 

MA, Political Science

PhD, Entomology

MA, International Studies

PhD, Statistics

Academic Programs (departments and schools) being recommended for discontinuance

Department

Notes

Chemical Engineering

Department only.  The BS in Chemical Engineering would continue.

Computer Science

Department only.  The BS in Computer Science would continue.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Department only.  The BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering would continue.  

School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy & Design

College of Education would reorganize degree offerings.

Academic Programs (degree programs, departments, colleges) being proposed for reorganization and consolidation
Reorganize the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Proposed new name: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences)

Relocate the Botany Department to this college and consolidate it with all life sciences into 3 new academic units.

Reorganize the MS (dual) degree program in Food Science and Human Nutrition as life sciences are consolidated.

Relocate the Zoology/Physiology Department to this college and consolidate it with all life sciences into 3 new academic units.

Reorganize the PhD (dual) degree program in Animal and Vet Sciences as life sciences are consolidated.

Relocate the Life Sciences program to this college and consolidate it with all life sciences into 3 new academic units.

Reorganize the College of Arts and Sciences (Proposed new name: College of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts)

Relocate BA, Agricultural Communications degree to this college and consolidate with Department of Communications and Journalism

Relocate American Studies program and consolidate with School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice 

Relocate Creative Writing program and consolidate with Department of English




Relocate Theatre and Dance Department and Music Department and consolidate with Art and Art History Department (Proposed new name: Visual and Performing Arts Program)

Reorganize the College of Education to include:

Reorganize the College of Education

Discontinue the School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy, and Design 

Reorganize the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Proposed new name: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences)

Relocate the Chemistry Department (from the College of A & S) to College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; reorganize Chemistry Department to preserve the BS, Chemical Engineering, and the BS, Chemistry; revise curriculum to incorporate innovations in chemical engineering

Relocate the Geology and Geophysics Department from the College of A & S) to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; reduce Geology and Geophysics Department and reorganize Petroleum Engineering Department to include geological sciences and preserve the BS, Geology and Geophysics, and the BS, Geography degrees; revise curriculum to incorporate innovations in geological sciences

Relocate the Math/Statistics Department to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Relocate the Physics and Astronomy Department and consolidate with Atmospheric Sciences department

Reorganize the College of Business (proposed new name: College of Business and Economics)

Relocate Agricultural and Applied Economics Department (from the College of Agriculture & Natural Sciences) to College of Business; consolidate with Department of Economics; BS, Agricultural Business, MS, Agricultural Economics preserved

Reorganize the College of Health Sciences

Reorganize the BS/MS programs in the Division of Kinesiology and Health to include nutrition curriculum

First and foremost, UW examined critical components of the land-grant mission, state statutory and Constitutional requirements, state service, scholarly productivity, student demand and success measures, future employment potential for students, donor and alumni density, and future funding opportunities.   

Among the metrics and sources of data were:

  1. Strategic Program Review committee’s rankings,

  2. Faculty research productivity, informed by research expenditures, annual faculty research activity, and Academic Analytics Scholarship Rating Index (SRI). 

  3. Gray Associates Program Evaluation System platform (PEP): This platform takes data from Burning Glass, Google Analytics, National Student Clearinghouse, and BLS jobs, wages, and employment projections to construct a custom scoring based on user-defined geographic area (Casper 60-mile radius, Laramie 360 mile radius, national, etc.). The PES generates scores showing competitive thickness/thinness of market, student demand, and employer demand. This analysis used the national market and focused on demand for Bachelor’s degrees and above.   

  4. Gray Associates Program Economics Platform system (PES): Undergraduate instructional economics, graduate instructional economics, and departmental instructional economics. 

  5. Four-year undergraduate program confirmed enrollment trends.   

  6. Student credit hours and instructional cost per credit hour produced by the unit and by level.

  7. Number of majors, masters students, and Ph.D. students enrolled over 5 years, graduation rates; and time to degree, and

  8. Annualized department annual giving and donor density

Relative to the investment UW and the state have made in these programs, and depending on the characteristics of  the units, low performing programs were proposed for discontinuance, while units that would benefit from reorganization and realignment with new structures were also identified. A low performing program typically was identified based on a combination of the low number of majors or graduate students in the program, low graduation rates and high time to degree, high cost-benefit of instructional activity, and low rates of scholarly and creative work activity.

An adjustment will be made to the FY23 budgets for academic units.  Generally, academic units that are not discontinued, reorganized, consolidated or reduced will receive a 3% budget reduction.  For other units, the amount of budget reduction and reallocation will vary depending on the scope of the reorganization, consolidation and reduction.

No, these degrees will not be discontinued.  However, Academic Affairs will provide guidance on the review and revision of these degree programs.

Yes.  A notice of intent to create a School of Computing has been submitted and will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees during their meeting on July 14-16, 2021. It is also expected that a notice of intent to create a new degree granting academic unit in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences that focuses on computing and technology innovations will be forthcoming.  It will be in this unit that the BS in Computer Science and BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering will be preserved.

UW Trustees Give Green Light to Development of School of Computing - added 7/15/21

If the degrees will continue to be offered, and if there are curricular innovations or new courses that a department wants to make and propose, they should do so. College curriculum committees in current college homes, who may wonder whether they have the authority to go forward given the potential for a department to move to a different college, should continue to evaluate course proposals for their current departments. The current college is most familiar with the department and the directions they've been taking recently. If there is any hesitation, loop in the associate dean of the receiving college so that they know a proposal is proceeding and welcome their input if they wish to offer it. If one of the colleges encounters a case of a new course being proposed for a potentially discontinued program, we can review those questions on a case by case basis.

THE REVIEW PROCESS

The process for programs proposed for reorganization, consolidation, reduction, and/or discontinuance will begin on July 19, 2021.  During this process, the UW Faculty Senate will work with the Provost and President to gather substantive feedback on the proposal.  The Provost will charge a set of committees to provide proposals to carry out each proposed action or the next best alternatives by October 1, 2021. 

Within 120 days, recommendations must be made to the Board of Trustees by the administration; the final decision by the Board will be made by November 19, 2021.  All impacted faculty, staff and students will be notified of the decision immediately by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Read more about the review process in UW Regulation 2-13 and the Standard Administrative Policy and Procedure: Academic Programs Discontinued per UW Regulation 2-13: Academic Program Appointments and Teach Out Plans.

The Office of Academic Affairs will be collecting anonymous feedback through an online survey that is coming soon.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC

The Provost will be naming committees the week of July 19, 2021 to address the short- and long-term homes for the Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Computer Science degrees. These committees will be tasked with recommending what a new set of academic units will look like. The recommendations from these committees, whose members will include stakeholders from these departments, will be due to the Provost by Oct. 1, 2021.

All undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) are accredited by ABET through September 30, 2022. CEAS will have a virtual ABET visit in early November 2021 for re-accreditation as part of the normal six year cycle. The ABET team will be informed of ongoing reorganization activities. A program moved to a new academic unit should have no impact on accreditation action.

The University remains committed to continuing and expanding its outreach to the state, including summer programs for UW and community college students, K-12 students, teachers and administrators, and the citizens of Wyoming. The respective committees will be tasked with considering how to continue (and expand) these important activities.

ALL EMPLOYEES

Up to 65 UW faculty and staff could be affected, and there may be a reduction of up to 10 department heads.

HR developed a webpage dedicated to Position Elimination and Retrenchment. This site describes the high-level process that will be followed.

The University offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides benefited employees and their household members with professional counseling, as well as legal and financial counseling. UW partners with Deer Oaks, to provide services at no cost to the employee. Access any of the services by visiting https://www.deeroakseap.com/ or by calling 1-888-993-7650. For additional details employees can visit http://www.uwyo.edu/hr/additional-resources/campus-wellness-resources/index.html.

FACULTY

Tenured faculty can only be terminated if an Academic Program is discontinued, but not for reductions, consolidations, or reorganizations.

Yes, non-tenured faculty positions may be terminated for reorganization, consolidation, and reduction, as well as for discontinuance.

Yes.  For any action (discontinuance, reduction, consolidation, and reorganization), terminations must follow a hierarchy:  

  1. non-tenure track academic personnel 

  2. tenure track faculty 

  3. academic personnel on a fixed term contract 

  4. tenured faculty 

Those employed full-time have retention priority over those employed on a part-time basis.  Among Academic Personnel in a Unit having equal rank and retention priority, the individual with the greatest seniority in the Unit will have retention priority. Seniority will be based first on an employee’s academic professional rank and second on total years of full-time equivalent employment in the Unit exclusive of periods of unpaid leave. Academic Personnel who are under a performance improvement plan shall be terminated prior to any other Academic Personnel

If your position is terminated due to a discontinuance, reduction, consolidation or reorganization, you will receive notice as soon as possible after the Board makes the final decision at the November 2021 meeting. For Academic Personnel with nine-month (AY) contracts, termination will be effective at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.  For Academic Personnel with twelve-month contracts (FY), termination will be effective at the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2022).

Yes, most likely. More information is forthcoming.

Yes, most likely. More information is forthcoming.

When program discontinuance occurs during an academic year (which will be the case in November), the university will make reasonable efforts to transfer faculty to other open and funded positions for which they are qualified and have discipline specific expertise.  A good faith effort will also be made to provide faculty the opportunity to receive an academic appointment as part of the teach out plan for accommodating students currently enrolled in the terminated program. This opportunity will ensure continuance of employment for the full hiring cycle in that discipline. See the Standard Administrative Policy and Procedure Academic Programs Discontinued per UW Regulation 2-13: Academic Program Appointments and Teach Out Plans for more detail.

Guidance from Academic Affairs and HR on process - forthcoming.

Academic personnel may appeal a termination pursuant to UW Regulation 2-14, but not the decision to reorganize, consolidate, reduce or discontinue the academic program.

Per UW Regulation 2-13 and the accompanying SAP, if your position is terminated, you will have the opportunity to indicate interest in and provide documentation of relevant discipline expertise for consideration in open and funded positions in existing academic programs, reorganized or consolidated academic programs, or new academic programs. 

Guidance from Academic Affairs and HR forthcoming.

There are currently no plans to revise any current retirement benefits that are outlined in UW Regulation 5-2.

STUDENTS

When a degree is proposed to be preserved, students will not be impacted by academic unit changes.  Similarly, if you are a currently-enrolled student of student admitted for Fall 2021 in a degree program proposed for discontinuance, you will be able to complete your degree outlined in the catalog that was in effect when you were admitted to the program, including the courses listed in your department’s degree plan.  Should you encounter unavailable courses, your advisor will work with you on substitution of other appropriate available coursework.

Final decisions will be made by November of 2021.  If your declared program is not available after that decision, your advisor will work with you to find another UW degree track that suits your interests.

When a degree is proposed to be preserved, students will not be impacted by academic unit changes.  Similarly, if you are a currently-enrolled student in a degree program proposed for discontinuance, you will be able to complete your degree under the catalog you entered UW under, including the courses listed in your department’s degree plan.  Should you encounter unavailable courses, your advisor will work with you on substitution of other appropriate available coursework.

STAFF

If your position is eliminated due to a discontinuance, reduction, consolidation or reorganization, you will receive notice as soon as possible after the Board makes the final decision at the November 2021 meeting.

If your position is eliminated due to a discontinuance, reduction, consolidation or reorganization, you will receive notice as soon as possible after the Board makes the final decision at the November 2021 meeting.

Classified staff will be provided retrenchment rights per the Employee Handbook.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION THAT WAS NOT ANSWERED HERE?

Please email progrevw@uwyo.edu with your question.

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