Promoting Quality Higher Education– An Investment in Oregon’s Future

NEWSLETTER, PSU-AAUP

Faculty Senate Pushed Administration to Imagine a Bright Future for PSU

December 09, 2022 / PSU-AAUP

Op-Ed by PSU-AAUP President Emily Ford

Colleagues,
 

I could not have been more pleased on Monday at the December Faculty Senate meeting to see AAUP members in the back of the room observing the meeting, many of them in protest of the poorly implemented and opaque efforts of the Program Review and Reduction Process (PRRP). For those who could not observe the meeting, I would like to offer a brief synopsis and my commentary as AAUP President.

What Happened

There were two notable reports presented and a resolution was passed at Monday’s meeting. (These documents can be found in the meeting’s materials here.)

  • Past Presiding Officer Reitenauer’s report from the Academic Program Reduction and Curricular Adjustments (APRCA) Committee was thoughtful, engaging, and powerful. She shared a thought from the committee: “For a long time, PSU grew without a vision, and now we’re cutting without a vision.”

  • The Faculty Senate Budget Committee pushed back against Administration’s budget narrative, highlighting the lack of transparency and shared governance in the budget process and pointing to the lack of strategy and vision offered by the Administration when it comes to fixing our budgetary and enrollment problems.

  • Faculty Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the administration to:  "engage in a budget process that looks beyond the current budget cycle and aligns resources with strategic priorities by:

    • Providing a summary of the overall budget gap that PSU (not just OAA) has faced over the last five years and is projected to face over the next several years.

    • Sharing the range of strategies considered across PSU, including timelines and the cost to implement each strategy.

    • Sharing the anticipated budget savings or revenue generation of each strategy, including budget savings from administrative reorganization and impacts on core functions of education and research and strategic priorities (racial justice and equity, student success, and community engagement) of each strategy.

    • Convening campus for an intentional and participatory process based on the budget and strategy information requested above as well as providing facilitation and the time necessary to discuss ways to move PSU toward a financially sustainable institution that supports our students and curriculum and fulfills our vision. Here we would offer the winter symposium or the Time to Act convenings as examples of venues for such discussions.”

Here are my thoughts:

I am deeply moved by the solidarity expressed by those faculty members attending the meeting. It is clear to me that the faculty and staff at PSU are dedicated to securing a bright future for PSU, while the Administration abdicates its responsibility to enact recommendations from the Huron report and neglects to include the greater PSU community in developing a vision for the future of the University.


Questions that must be answered:

  • Why is Administration only budgeting one year at a time, in a reactionary and careless manner, when we should be planning strategically based on a shared vision?

  • Why is PRRP moving forward without a strategic vision supporting the process and decisions? And why are five academic units being left to be doing this work on their own when there is an entire community of faculty, staff, and students who also want the best for PSU and could help share the load of this visioning and planning?

  • Why does Administration continue to shroud the PRRP process behind empty promises of transparency and meaningful engagement with faculty and staff? Especially given that multiple resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate pointed to the lack of transparency and demands to have the Administration meaningfully engage with faculty and practice true shared governance.

We all must be asking these questions within our units, our colleges and schools, the committees on which we serve, and the upper echelon of University Administration. 

Now that the term is nearing its close, may you get the rest you need to come back, so we are ready to join together and push for PSU’s bright future. 

In solidarity, 

Emily

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