The following section is an excerpt from the presentation to faculty and staff by Janet K. Levit, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Tulsa, on April 11, 2019:
Before we review our programmatic decisions, I want to underscore that we are upholding all our commitments to resident faculty. We are not eliminating tenured or tenure-track faculty positions, and we stand by our current contractual obligations to our resident contract faculty.
We met with faculty who are impacted by these changes to share with them what you are about to read. I’m grateful for their support of the greater purpose. With rare exception, there was understanding and support.
These changes are about reprioritizing and reallocating our resources to support those programs with the greatest demand, which will have the greatest opportunity for success as we navigate into uncharted higher-ed terrain. The PPRC simply acknowledged and acted upon what our students have been trying to tell us for years. In most cases, our students have already voted with their feet.
Again, although these changes may feel significant, if implemented immediately they would only impact the degrees of 6% of our total graduate and undergraduate student population. These changes will not be implemented immediately. They will be phased in over time, as we are fully committed to teaching out our current students.
For any student who arrives in the fall of 2019, they may enroll in any program that we have held out as available through the admissions process. In time, this academic restructure will allow us to deploy resources more effectively, to better promote interdisciplinary work, to free resources to invest to strengthen and to grow remaining programs and support faculty development.
Starting with Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences, which today has 15 departments and 68 degree programs (including minors), will morph as soon as practical into three divisions – fine arts & media; humanities; and social sciences – with 36 degree programs (including minors).
In Engineering & Natural Sciences, the engineering verticals initially remain largely unchanged. Although, the stand alone M.E.s will shift to 12-month programs and have a more practical, rather than academic, focus.
On the natural sciences side, 30 degree programs will become 15, and we will be eliminating Ph.D. programs in chemistry, geosciences, mathematics and physics.
In Collins College of Business, 27 programs become 18, with the most notable changes in graduate-level finance.
Oxley College of Health Sciences is the youngest, and, with the PPRC identifying growth potential, they remain virtually intact.
The program closures and consolidations have been the subject of much speculation for the better part of this academic year. Yet, the PPRC’s program review is much broader and more constructive than simply identifying programs for elimination.
The Academic Strategy for The University of Tulsa (updated January 6, 2020 is available online.
Continue reading Levit’s remarks regarding the reimagination of TU’s academic footprint.