University of Arizona students received an e-mail from Provost Meredith Hay yesterday regarding the UA Transformation Plan. The e-mail, which contains a link to a memorandum from Hay, outlines several large-scale changes on the horizon for UA students, departments and even colleges.
The memo refers to the altering of priorities to meet obligations in the budget coming for the 2010 fiscal year. To reach this goal, the memo states, the UA must rethink how it teaches students, hires faculty and allocates resources.
In what may serve as an ominous warning to some departments, a separate memo, dated Aug. 20, was sent to UA President Robert Shelton and Hay from Miranda Joseph, women's studies associate professor, on behalf of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee.
The memo states: "In developing these guidelines, we sought to take into account the diversity of academic programs and their multifaceted contributions to the overall mission of the university. At the same time, we recognized the urgent need to use our limited resources in the most strategic and effective manner. Therefore, the particular criteria that we have identified are meant to be used in conjunction with each other: a high priority department would be highly rated on many of these dimensions, while a program considered for reduction would be performing poorly in many areas."
Hay has already asked various groups to begin proposals for merging departments and programs. But departments themselves can submit independent suggestions.
The areas considered for consolidations are in liberal arts, area studies, health-related fields and science, technology and engineering units. All proposals are to include input from faculty, students and staff.
The deadline for initial proposals is Oct. 13.Proposals may be changed or rejected.
In November, full proposals must be submitted to the provost. In December, the proposals will be moved to the Faculty Senate. The full proposals will include the background for the need and estimated outcomes, details on the saving expected, explanations of how the consolidation will better the teaching, research and creative activities. The proposals will also include the justification of the consolidation and the overall effect on the university.