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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this?

“We will prioritize and target our resources on those areas in which we excel.”                                        

                                                                                        - President Gregory H. Williams

Where are we now?

  • We’ve reached Phase 5 of a data-driven, multi-staged, transparent, inclusive and iterative process that encompasses multiple points of review and input from key stakeholders, ranging from deans and program directors to external reviewers and faculty panels.  At each step, stakeholders have been able to comment on opportunities and issues raised in previous steps.
  • Following a thorough review of all relevant materials, the Interim Dean of the Graduate School and the Interim Vice President of Research sorted each of the 52 research doctoral programs into one of three categories: 1) enhance; 2) maintain; or 3) reorganize.
  • The New Program Committee, a working group of the Graduate Council and an advisory body to the Graduate School, has reviewed these recommendations and provided input to the Graduate School. 
  • These recommendations are being shared with the appropriate dean for review and comment.  The dean’s response and the recommendations will then be shared with the appropriate program director for review and comment.  All of these data points (Graduate School recommendations + dean’s response + program director’s response) will be forwarded to the Provost by the middle of May.
  • The Provost will conduct a comprehensive review of all background materials and data points and make a decision on which doctoral programs will be enhanced, maintained or reorganized by the end of May.

How will reorganization work?

  • The Graduate School and Provost Office will work with the dean over the summer to develop a customized implementation plan for the program slated to be reorganized.
  • Reorganization may (or may not) result in a program being phased out.
  • No faculty layoffs will occur as a result of reorganization or a phase out.  All students (current and incoming) will have the opportunity to complete degrees and their stipend amounts will not be negatively impacted by this process.

What are the next steps?

  • The dean should meet immediately with faculty and students from programs recommended for reorganization and emphasize the main points mentioned above.  In doing so, it is essential that faculty and students understand that the Provost will not make a decision until he conducts a comprehensive review of all background materials and data points.
  • Complete Phase 5 by the middle of May.
  • If individuals have questions about the process, please direct them to the following website:

http://bit.ly/DoctoralStrategy