A new project implemented by President Lesley Hallick last spring hopes to curb the rising cost of tuition. Imagine Pacific 20/20 requires all undergraduate, graduate and professional academic programs, and administrative departments to evaluate their expenses to best serve current and future students.
“The goal is to understand our image, and where we need to be allocating resources and where we shouldn’t be,” said Hallick.
On Aug. 29, faculty and staff members received program review templates that ask questions about the quality of the program, economic sustainability, revenue and costs, obstacles and opportunities and a self evaluation.
These evaluations strive to “bend the cost curve,” said Hallick, and break the cycle of tuition increase.
“The rise in tuition was four percent this year which was the lowest since 2005,” said Hallick.
During the development of this proposal, Hallick said she has encouraged input from all faculty and staff. Faculty and staff who responded gave their feedback about the templates wanted it simplified. The new version is more uniform and has less questions while also splitting undergraduate and graduate and professional programs into two separate templates.
“We really want to understand not just every major, but the people too,” said Hallick.
Although this program isn’t designed to cut programs or positions, Hallick said that could be a result. The importance of evaluating the individual programs will be the student demand. This could result in adding faculty to certain programs and also replacing certain positions or not hiring new faculty or staff when people retire.
“We don’t have a level playing field between majors,” said Hallick about the distribution of resources.
Hallick is currently working with the Student Senate about hosting some events such as open forums for students to give their input about Imagine Pacific 20/20.
“This is incredibly important. It is going to cause tension,” said Hallick. “People are going to get mad, but I am intrigued by this.”
The completed templates are due before Thanksgiving. In the spring, the gathered data will be analyzed. By May 2015, the university will invest in the programs that have the greatest need. A full timeline and procedure will be mapped out for fall 2015.
Hallick will be addressing Imagine Pacific 20/20 at the annual State of the University presentation scheduled tentatively for Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in Taylor-Meade Auditorium.