Stanley must consult before closing programs

Faculty Assembly passed a proposal on Monday that put in place a formal procedure that the administration must follow if they wish to deactivate or discontinue an academic program at Oswego State.

“The SUNY Provost Office asked for a formal procedure from all the campuses so if a program was eliminated it would be after a formal consultation process,” said Sue Fettes, who chairs the Academic Policies Council in Faculty Assembly. “There is now a form that states when President Stanley signs off on the elimination or discontinuance of a program that our campus process has been adhered to. Before now, there has been no formal process for elimination or discontinuance of a program.”

While the proposal has been passed by Faculty Assembly, it will not be made official until President Deborah Stanley signs it, said Chair of Faculty Assembly Susan Camp.

“It’s a document that insures that if there are proposals to discontinue or deactivate a program that all proper people are consulted,” Camp said. “It’s important because it’s important for the proper people to make decisions.”

The proposal states that the president or provost must “consult with department members and chair, division dean, Academic Policies Council or Graduate Council, Priorities and Planning Council, Faculty Assembly, and other affected departmental or program faculty, staff and governance units” before issuing a request to do away with an academic program.

The proposal was not made in response to other SUNY schools who have eliminated academic programs.

The last time a program was eliminated at Oswego was when the earth sciences department wished to eliminate the meteorology BA.

“In the past we have always made sure that a student would graduate under the catalog that said student entered under. It is a legal contract,” Fette said. “I believe were a program to be deactivated or discontinued that accommodations would be made for students enrolled in the program.”

In November 2010, SUNY Geneseo voted to deactivate their computer science, communicative disorders and sciences, and studio art programs over the following three years. Prior to that, SUNY Albany voted to eliminate Italian, French, Russian, theater and classic programs. The decisions were made due to budget cuts.

Oswego State is currently not in danger of eliminating any program, said Director of Public Relations Julie Blissert.

“The last time the budget advisory group met that’s what the president said,” Blissert said.

One thought on “Stanley must consult before closing programs

  1. A note for Ms. Sauchelli which I hope will clarify things. I am the UUP Chapter President for UAlbany and can personally attest to the fact that there was NEVER A VOTE to deactivate our programs. The Faculty Senate endorsed three different resolutions decrying the actions of administration to no avail. The administration’s decision to deactivate was never brought through faculty governance as it should have been.

    That said, I am thankful to you for bringing this story to the forefront and will look forward to hearing that all of the SUNY campuses have an advertised set of procedures to follow when making program decisions.

    Candace A. Merbler
    President, UUP Albany Chapter

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