Last Thursday, the Clarion University administration released their Workforce Plan. APSCUF has begun analysis of the 32-page plan; here’s our first-look impression. Local & State APSCUF will have a far more systematic approach in preparation for further discussions.
#1: Forgets Clarion University’s historic mission as a teacher education center.
The plan talks about “the orderly dissolution of the College of Education and Human Services” in 2013-14. As reported, not surprisingly, in the papers, this comes out as a headline “Clarion Dissolves College of Education” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 16, 2013) – and leads to the notion that Clarion is no longer going to provide teacher education. What does this do to the image of the university – how many prospective (F2014) students are re-thinking where they look now? (Spillover effect #1)
#2: Projects $2 million from increased student retention while eliminating the Office of Academic Enrichment.
The plan cites the goal of student success in admitting, retaining, and graduating students (page 14). It also assumes $2 million in revenue growth through increased student retention (page 4). The plan then eliminates the Department of Academic Enrichment (page 11), resulting in the elimination of five faculty and three staff. The enrichment center’s mission is in part to “provide comprehensive assistance in reading and study skills as well as in the content areas of specific subjects.”
If Clarion is planning for increased student retention and success, how can they eliminate an entire department dedicated to helping students succeed? (Logic failure #1)
#3: Places the music education program in moratorium, eliminating six faculty members, leaving one faculty person to…
The plan places the music education program in moratorium with one faculty member left after cuts to run the department (page 11). So one person will do marching band (there will be one to carry on the tradition at CU football games, right?), chorus (there will be one, right?), as well as individual lessons on instruments and vocal. Will there really be music on Clarion campus next fall? (Spillover effect #2 as students go elsewhere for these “extras”)
#4: Identifies nursing as a growth area and adds a doctorate of nursing practice but eliminates two nursing faculty positions.
The plan states that the BS in nursing is a growth area (page 10-11) and even proposes an applied doctorate in nursing in conjunction with Edinboro, yet they plan to do this while cutting one faculty position in nursing and leaving another vacant. (Logic failure #2)
#5: Eliminates a health services position.
Talk about liability waiting to happen. Short-sighted or wise management? (Forgot to ask our lawyer #1)