Faculty council letter about program cuts

Faculty council letter about program cuts

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Faculty Council strongly condemns any administrative action to remove, supplant, circumvent or bypass the faculty role in reviewing and designing curriculum, an example of which is the college administration’s treatment of the Medical Office Assistant program. Any process involving program restructure at Lane must be led by the program faculty, as well as follow the Program Review process and long-established academic and empirical data standards.

Sincerely, Joseph Colton, Faculty Council Co-chair

by Penny Scott, Editor-in-chief

The majority of voting members were present at the meeting when Faculty Council members voted unanimously in favor of the above statement, Colton said. He commented that members aren’t happy and there is concern among them that the college may be going in the direction of non-credit degrees.

“Then they can hire cheaper labor and get lower quality instruction or just get people through faster,” Colton said. “Half the members think there is malicious intent by the administration regarding the program cuts and half don’t.”

The administration would be able to save money by taking courses out of the bargaining arena and treating them as continuing education courses he said, adding that continuing education faculty don’t have any rights and continuing education courses don’t have the same kind of rigor or quality.

“We have been told that there is data to support their decisions, but we haven’t seen it,” Brooke Taylor, chemistry instructor and Faculty Council Co-chair, said. “Unless their only data was the report that Andrea Newton wrote.”

“It was a horrible report,” added Colton. He expressed concern that the survey was not completed properly, saying that CIT was supposed to be included, but there was no mention of it in the summery of the survey. He added that he is concerned that other things were not included that should have been.

“It feels like they were trying to get the responses they wanted,” Colton said. “I think the survey is fake. I think they already decided they were going to cut the programs.”

He fears that the program cuts might be part of a larger plan to alter the college, whereas other people actually believe that this is the case, he said.

The degree for which his students are enrolled requires courses in electronics, he said. “But they don’t talk to us. So that’s kind of strange. They are making curriculum decisions.”

The council is concerned about the administration bringing in an outside consultant to redesign the curriculum, Taylor said.

Taylor expressed concern that if the administration can make changes to the curriculum, as they are now doing, it could happen in other areas. “For the administration to come in and say the curriculum needs to be changed is scary,” she said.

“I don’t think any of my students realize that this could change their employability in the future based on this,” Colton said. “Anything you don’t learn in the classroom has to be learned on the job. The more you have to learn on the job the worse it is for students.”

Taylor said that faculty is responsible for developing and revising curriculums and assessing students. “It’s not appropriate for the administration to go to an external source and come in and say this is how you are going to do your curriculum, especially in the health professions where they have their own accreditation,” she said.

Colton and Taylor agreed that if programs, such as MOA, don’t follow set requirements it will result in the loss of outside accreditation.