Dear Campus Community,
As many of you know, we initiated an academic planning retrenchment process in January in order to address a significant budget shortfall over the next few years. The process included a series of stakeholder focus group sessions, a review of academic programs by the Provost-appointed Academic Planning Team and the Faculty Senate-appointed Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Academic Planning Retrenchment Committee, and general commentary by individuals throughout the process. The Academic Planning Team and the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee submitted their recommendations to me on March 20 and made those recommendations available to the campus community.
Today, March 30, is the scheduled release date of my retrenchment proposal. It is attached to this email in two documents: 1) the retrenchment proposal narrative, and 2) a table of all academic programs with my proposed academic planning status for each. Throughout the month of April, this proposal will go through a formal comment period with the following schedule:
March 30 – April 3 Program Faculty, School Director or Department Chairperson
April 6 – 10 College Faculty, College or School/Department Curriculum Committee, Dean
April 15 – 20 Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council
April 24 – 27 Faculty Senate
April 29 Provost
On April 30, all recommendations will come back to me for review and I will write my final proposal. I will then forward that proposal with all recommendations from the formal review process to UA System President Donald Bobbitt for his consideration. Dr. Bobbitt will present the results of the campus process and make his own recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will then vote whether to approve the retrenchment plan as presented.
On a personal note, I certainly understand that the retrenchment process is traumatic for any campus to undergo and I don’t take this lightly. This will likely be the most difficult thing this campus ever does. Some may be wondering why we don’t hold off until the added trauma of the Coronavirus has subsided. Believe me, I wish we had that option. However, if we don’t maintain our original schedule, we won’t be able to include the results in our FY21 budget, and that would cause significant damage to the long-term health of our institution. I think we all understand that we have very difficult choices to make. We need to proceed with making them. I will continue to welcome your counsel as we carry out the rest of this process.