I passed along earlier a memo from UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson about the school’s working on meeting budget requirements in the face of an enrollment decline and static state support, a process that could produce some program reductions next year, he said.
Now comes a staff member with copies of a proposal circulated late last week by the campus provost, Zulma Torrot. It outlines the proposed combination — with some downsizing in jobs — of non-academic units. They are the Institute of Government, Institute for Economic Advancement and the Small Business Technology Center. Their work would become part of a new School of Public and International Studies.
These changes are said to grow from an emphasis on first protecting services directly related to students. My source counters that the non-academic units are critical to filling a public service mission of the metropolitan university.
For now, I’ll just pass along the documents. Provost Torro notes that UALR is not only pressed by declining enrollment but by the University of Arkansas System’s eVersity, which will compete with existing UALR on-line courses at a lower cost.
The document with the provost’s draft ideas includes the recommendation for the non-academic unit reorganization, but also discusses in detail ideas that cover academic departments as well. The ideas include a heavier course load for full-time faculty to reduce expenses for added lecturers, a change in class scheduling to better meet student needs and a push to build revenue with non-credit courses and many other recommendations.