All activity paused for Summer 2022
Faculty Senators pushed back against the Program Review and Reduction Process (PRRP) during the special Faculty Senate meeting on June 13th (recording here).
Senators and guests at the Faculty Senate meeting made strong statements against both the substance and the process of PRRP.
First and foremost, Senators and guests pointed to the Administration’s lack of adherence to the very priorities and principles it created. Administration’s actions have been opaque rather than transparent, as the Senate called for. Moreover, the Senate’s request for “data-informed decision making” has not been embraced by the Administration. The five units being targeted for Phase III of program review and reduction have repeatedly asked the Provost for the evaluative criteria being used to assess programs in Phases II and III, but they have yet to receive clear answers to this crucial question.
After these strong statements, the Faculty Senate voted to pass an amended resolution put forth by the APRCA Committee.
The result of that vote is a pause on all PRRP labor and forward movement until the Fall 2022 term.
Faculty and staff are exhausted and need a break this summer. If for no other reason, this is a win.
Moreover, it also gives us all time to organize against this PRRP process which, we again repeat, has no logic to it.
What do we mean when we say no logic?
On the one hand, Provost Jeffords went on record at the Faculty Senate meeting saying she will not drop consideration of Article 22 (Retrenchment) as part of the PRRP process, claiming there’s a need to “close the budget gap.”
Yet, when they asked for further guidance on what their proposals needed to address, the 5 targeted units were told to "show how the unit can continue to meet their goals and offer their programs viably with their current staffing, resources, and budget [emphasis added]" - indicating that this is not about a budget crisis.
So which is it?
Beyond that, Professor Bunsis’s recent analysis, along with the Administration’s own Huron report, shows that the University is in fine shape financially, including $28 million which hasn’t even been earmarked yet.
That money can and should be used to bolster and grow academic programs and units to maintain high-quality educational programming and support for our students.
In a nutshell: PRRP makes no sense, has no logical justification, adds stress and work for faculty and staff who are already exhausted, and is bad for PSU students and our community.