Budget cuts are approved
Posted December 2, 2005

Recently, the Board of Trustees approved the Action Task Force’s recommendations and President Stephen Morgan’s complementary changes, and has taken the last steps in preparing them for implementation. The approved recommendations will be implemented by fall 2007.

“In order for the University to be moved forward and continue on as a private institution that offers a plethora of programs and great opportunities, they need to straighten out things,” said Associated Students Federation President Dana McJunkin.

Morgan held three open forums and considered the suggestions given on the Action Task Force Web site before writing a complimentary set to the recommendations and approving some while postponing others.

Morgan listened to feedback from others and researched the topics before presenting his changes, said Adeline Cardenas-Clague, Task Force chair and dean of academic support and retention services.

He differed on recommendations three, 13 and 14, saying that these recommendations need special attention.

A smaller Action Task Force will be appointed to focus on these recommendations and provide the best solution. Robert Neher, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, was assigned the duty of overseeing these recommendations and evaluating their success.

Cross-listed courses will not be assigned to a single department just yet, but the smaller task force is considering this option as well.

Morgan, along with the executive vice president and provost, will analyze the previously proposed two percent reduction in budget expenses and decide on a suitable target for reducing expenses.

The data systems will not be integrated now, but will undergo the process when the University upgrades its data management system.

“There are always going to be pros and cons for each recommendation and I think that the decisions were made in the best interest for the future of the University,” McJunkin said.

The remaining recommendations were approved and there are several changes on the horizon that will improve the University.

A single academic calendar ?will be made for all ULV campuses, giving students the flexibility of taking courses at other campuses.

Three unit courses that are four units on other ULV campuses will be changed to four units across all campuses.

In addition, the University will establish a 128-unit degree requirement for undergraduate students.

All majors will have a 60 unit limit which would allow students in majors such as biology, chemistry and physics that currently exceed 60 units to graduate in the anticipated four years.

General education requirements would amount to 48 units of the 128 units.

This would leave 20 units for students to either pursue a minor or explore elective courses.

“Students will have a possibility for a minor,” Cardenas- Clague said. “Currently, minors are pretty prohibitive.”

The Academic Administrative Committee, comprised mainly of Morgan, the vice presidents, provost and the deans will review the average class size of courses and see if a two year rotation plan can be implemented.

In order to assist the students, future catalogues will list the rotation schedule for such classes.

In addition, the Office of Academic Advising will formulate a group that will schedule general education requirements and forward the results to academic departments to assist them with scheduling courses.

Next fall, 50 additional foreign exchange students will join the main campus.

The percentage of University grants given to students will be reduced to about 38 percent from the previous 45 percent discount rate, putting the University in a more comparable position with other Private universities, Cardenas-Clague said.

“Our objective is to focus our financial aid on the students we think to be most successful,” Morgan said.

An executive level position will be created that will manage ULV’s advertising, image development, marketing, recruitment and admissions to increase the efficiency in these fields.

Even though the Task Force has finished compiling these recommendations, their work is not finished. Morgan has asked it to continue its work through the fall semester.

The next set of recommendations that the Task Force plans to produce will affect the administration and will eventually bring new sources of revenue.

“We certainly want to preserve the academic experience for our students,” Cardenas-Clague said.

Yelena Ovcharenko can be reached at yovcharenko@ulv.edu.

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