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Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

  • Prioritization – an evidence-based assessment of all academic and administrative programs and services, focusing on their efficiency, effectiveness, and centrality to Lehman College’s mission.
  • Programs and services – defined as any activity or collection of activities that require or consume resources (dollars, people, facilities/space, research/scholarship, performances, equipment/instrumentation, and time)

Why are We Doing This?

  • Confluence of Events:
    • decreasing or stagnant financial (local, state and federal) support and unsustainable fiscal models,
      o changing student demographics, including declines in high school graduation numbers that will impact current and future freshman and transfer enrollments,
      o educational attainment gaps for previously underserved populations,
      o learning-focused outcomes (with increasing expectations for proficiency, competency-based learning and prior-learning assessment and credentialing),
      o technological changes in learning modalities, including MOOCs, online and distance education,
      o increased accountability requirements and expectations from accrediting agencies, policy makers, and the public, and
      o intense competition for students among public, private and for-profit institutions (local and global).
  • To continue the implementation of Lehman's Strategic Plan: Achieving the Vision
  • Preparing for Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) progress report (2014) and upcoming self-study, (2019) and annual CUNY Performance Management Plan (PMP) reports
  • To prepare for individual academic program accreditation reports and academic program reviews.
  • Anticipating Lehman College’s Update to Strategic Plan (2015-2020), and 50th anniversary in 2018
  • To position Lehman College as an institution that is stronger and more innovative, with a more sustainable academic and financial model for the 21st century learning environment, student demographic and global workforce needs.

How is the Process Conducted?

  • Open nominations, selection criteria (ability to serve as trustee of the institution, not advocate for particular programs or constituents)
    • Steering Committee – charged with managing the prioritization process and review ratings of programs and services submitted by Task Forces
      • 9 members: senior faculty (including representative Academic Senate) and administrators; Co-Chairs: Provost & Sr. VP for Academic Affairs, VP Administration & Finance
        o Academic Programs and Services Task Force – charged with developing quantitative and qualitative criteria/questions and to identify data/evidence needed to assess programs; to establish weights of criteria and ratings of all programs and services
      • 14 members: faculty, staff, administrators; Co-Chairs (Chair of Department of Economics & Business, Director of Special Academic Sessions, Enrollment Management)
      • Administrative Programs and Services Task Force – charged with developing criteria/questions, identify data/evidence needed to assess programs; to establish weights of criteria and ratings of all programs and services
      • 13 members: faculty, staff, administrators; Co-Chairs (Chair of Department of Biological Sciences, Coordinator of Assessment and Planning)
    • Data Support Group – charged with identifying data, sources and coding for the information that will be provided for analysis of all programs and services
      • 8 members: staff (IR, HR, IT, Budget, Facilities); Co-Chairs (Senior Registrar, Director of Budget Office)
    • Communications Team – charged with providing updated information regarding process and timeline to the campus community (via web)
      • 3 members
  • Consultants – contracted to provide assistance regarding use of national best practices as context and use of specific software for data entry and program analysis
  • Chairs/Directors – (upon consultation with colleagues and constituents) will provide analysis and context of individual programs and services based, in part, on criteria developed by the Task Forces and information provided by the Data Support Group
  • Deans, Senior Administrators – may provide additional context to assessment individual programs and services based, in part, on information from data and criteria provided, prior to final submission to the respective Task Forces

Who Leads the Effort & Makes the Final Decision?

  • President identifies the need to pursue the process of prioritization, charges the various committees and task forces, and receives and decides on recommendations
  • Prioritization process is overseen by Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs and VP for Administration and Finance (as Co-Chairs of Steering Committee)
  • The entire community is encouraged to engage in the process through communications, workshops, open forum discussions

When Does Prioritization Start and End?

  • September 2013 – President Fernández announced that Lehman College would initiate the prioritization of academic and administrative programs and services as one of several goals for the academic year
  • October 2013 – 7-member Lehman Team (consisting of Provost, VP for Administration and Finance, faculty and staff) attended a 2-day workshop on prioritization of academic and administrative programs led by Robert Dickeson (author of Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance)
  • February 2014 - President Fernández calls for nominations for Steering Committee, Academic and Administrative Task Forces, Data Support Group and Communications Team.
  • March 2014 – Prioritization Kick-Off (with Robert Dickeson) and Open Forum
  • June 2014 – Steering Committee presents clarification and tentative process timeline
  • June – September 2014 – Task Force Co-Chairs worked with Data Team to finalize Program Analysis Forms and identify accessible and reliable data
  • October 2014 – Consultants led workshops on best practices and use of specialized software for data entry and program analysis; task force co-chairs provided a review of the program analysis forms.
  • November 2014 – Chairs/Directors, Deans and Senior Administrators begin assessment of individual programs and services for submission to Task Forces
  • January 2015 – Task Forces to assess and rate all programs and services and make recommendations to Steering Committee
  • March 2015 – Steering Committee to review ratings provided by the Task Forces
  • April 2015 – Steering Committee to provide final recommendations to the President
  • May 2015 – President to review and announce final recommendations