Action Task Force
tackles campus cost cuts
The Action Task Force, formed in spring 2005, recently submitted 16 recommendations to University of La Verne President Stephen Morgan.
With the goal of “finding” $8 million in existing programs, the Task Force assessed the University’s performance and made suggested cuts that its members hope will both ensure continued high standards and create a balanced budget by the 2006-2007 academic year.
Morgan appointed 14 staff and faculty members to the Task Force to bring a variety of perspectives to the project.
“The purpose of the Task Force is to be able to think out of our own outside areas and serve the institution as a whole,” said Task Force chairwoman Adeline Cardenas-Clague.
Throughout its 114 year history, the University has developed traditions, some of which are no longer serving its own best interests or those of students, the Task Force concluded.
“The University… has kind of just grown in bits and pieces,” said Gordon Badovick, dean of the College of Business and Public Management.
Task Force members say they concentrated on developing ways to serve its primary markets: undergraduate, graduate and adult students effectively.
Among the recommendations are cutting student grants from a total cost of $15 million this year to $13 million by fall 2007.
Compared to other Southern California private universities ULV has one of the highest tuition discount rates, giving students very generous grants and scholarships.
“Nobody wants to cut grants and scholarships,” Badovick said, “The purpose was to align our ability to give grants with the ability to attract the students we attract.”
Instead of focusing specifically on a student’s grade point average, the University will begin profiling students and offering aid to those who will be served best by the funds and will be able to graduate on time. The goal to is serve and satisfy as many students as possible, Cardenas-Clague said.
“I don’t think anybody wants to cut it down in a way that will adversely affect our students,” Badovick said.
Another set of recommendations would provide a structure that will effectively manage the number of classes that ULV requires and teaches, and may save the University $1 million annually if it cuts 300 courses that it offers.
This will reduce the number of part time faculty on campus and will provide more classroom space.
Additionally the Task Force is recommending a single calendar for all ULV campuses.
This will give students the opportunity to cross over and ?take classes at other campuses without financial aid problems, and will provide more classroom space as well.
One of the recommendations would assign cross-listed courses to one department and would allow the other departments to use that course in their majors. Currently there are several instances where the same course is offered through different departments in the same term with only a few students in each class.
One recommendation calls for departments to offer several classes on a two-year course rotation plan, meaning that some courses might be offered only once in two years. This would require students to plan their schedules well in advance.
“I think it will greatly streamline the courses we offer by having every program to offer a two-year plan,” Badovick said.
The Task Force also recommends the University establish a 128-unit graduation requirement for all undergraduate degrees with the exception of degrees that require lab-type of field-based courses. This requirement, members say, would not only assist students in completing their degrees in four years but would limit the number of classes that they take since many students take classes that are not necessarily part of their requirements to obtain the required number of units they need to graduate.
Of the 128 units required, general education requirements would be cut back to no more than 48 units; major, supportive prerequisite requirements will add up to no more than 60 units, and minor and elective classes will be no more than 20 units all together.
“A lot of students up until now have really not had an opportunity to have a minor,” Badovick said.
Another suggestion involves converting three-unit courses to four units.
This will allow a student to take fewer courses to graduate.
The Task Force also recommended cuts to administrative programs.
If all the recommendations are implemented, the University could save more than $6 million by fall 2007.
Even though all recommendations are expected to be implemented by fall 2007, most of them will only affect incoming students as of next fall since the University has the obligation of staying true to the original catalogues that were given to students in the year they entered.
The Task Force will host open forums on the recommendations at 3 p.m. today and 8:30 a.m. Oct. 13 in La Fetra Hall.
Yelena Ovcharenko can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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