Message from the Provost
August 31, 2017
Dear Herkimer College community,
The process of balancing our academic program offerings is ongoing with new programs in various stages of development, and existing programs in various stages of their life cycles. How we manage our mix of academic programs is one of the most critical decisions we can make. Student interests and workforce needs change over time, requiring an ongoing analysis of program development and prioritization.
In the 2015-16 academic year, a taskforce was formed and charged with developing a process to review academic programs to determine whether they should be supported and enhanced, further reviewed and monitored, or deactivated/discontinued. The taskforce, with representation from the faculty and administration, recommended a program prioritization process which was developed and implemented in 2016-17.
Upon review of the program prioritization results by the Executive Council, several programs were identified as requiring follow-up comprehensive review. Faculty conducted the comprehensive review for their own programs, which included an analysis of enrollment trends, graduation and retention rates, employment outlooks, and other factors. They submitted comprehensive review reports to the associate deans who then submitted summary reports to me.
Due to continued low enrollments (over an extended period of time), sluggish retention and graduation rates, significant program maintenance costs (equipment, technology, software and facilities), and decreased workforce demands, I recommended the discontinuation of the following programs: Digital Filmmaking (AS), Radio-Television Broadcasting (AAS) and Communication Arts: New Media (AS). Subsequently, President McColgin accepted the recommendations and presented them to the Board of Trustees at their meeting last evening (August 30, 2017). After much consideration and thoughtful debate, the Board of Trustees approved the resolutions. Therefore, effective immediately, we will not accept new students into these programs.
We are now in the process of communicating with our matriculated students currently enrolled in these programs to notify them of this decision, and to advise them of their options. Students currently enrolled will have the option to be “taught out,” which means they can complete their degree, provided they are able to do so by August 2019. Students will also have the option to transfer into another major.
Understanding that these decisions are difficult, we must ensure that our academic programs are fiscally sustainable and continue to meet the needs of our students and the workforce.
Michael A. Oriolo