The University Budget Board’s evaluation of all of Colorado State University- Pueblo’s administrative and academic departments was given to President Lesley Di Mare, who will make the final decisions concerning the university’s best budgetary plan.
The goal for this process is to enhance the financial capacity of the university’s programs while still retaining strength in these programs, according to the Program Review to Establish Priorities website.
To strengthen the productivity of the budget, all administrative programs and academic departments have been evaluated based on the effectiveness, relevance and relationship to the university’s mission, according to the PREP website. Any reductions, allocations or reallocations that will occur will be based upon thorough data analysis.
According to Dr. Rick Huff, the chairman of the University Budget Board, going into the process of evaluation there were no specific areas that were targeted to be cut. Dr. Huff said that the process was to be “purely as objective” as it can be, and that all programs and departments were evaluated on equal terms.
According to the PREP website, the first step of this process was establishing evaluative documents which were given to every program and department on campus during the spring semester of 2013. The forms examined the effectiveness and relevance of each program and department.
According to Logan Gogarty, former president of the Associated Students’ Government, there were different forms and criteria for each template of programs: instructional programs, academic support, student services and enrollment management, institutional support, operations and maintenance or self-supporting programs. The criteria on each template are essentially the same.
The criteria for the forms can be found on the PREP website under the document tab. For each criterion there is a scale of four to one, four being the best rating, while one being the worst.
The first criteria examined whether a program displayed a strong direct link to the university’s “mission, vision and strategic goals.” The second criteria examined which “quartile in terms of number of degrees awarded” the retention and graduation rates fit into.
Criteria three examined if jobs in the United States would have a strong demand for certain programs. Whether programs provided “general education and service courses” used by other majors was the emphasis for criteria four.
Criteria five is looking for assurances that all program and administrative faculty and staff are in possession “of terminal degrees in their discipline and that they possess years of experience in post-secondary and relevant non-academic work.”
The sixth criteria ensured that the programs have clear educational objectives that tie in with the university’s mission, internal and external constituencies’ needs and learning outcomes for graduates.
Criteria seven examined whether the “overall program costs per student averaged at or near the lowest cost quartile and that there was funding from varied sources such as fees, grants, endowments and donations,” according to the PREP website.
The evaluation forms have been completed by all the departments and programs and sent to President Di Mare. According to Dr. Huff, the president will make final decisions based on recommendations from the University Budget Board.
President Di Mare agreed to give an interview to the CSU-Pueblo Today staff about the budget story, but later requested the interview be given after May 6. According to the president, she would like to comment on any budget situation after the Board of Governors approved it.
“It would be better to interview me after May 6, as by then the Board of Governors would have posted their final decision on the upcoming year budget, and then I will be able to speak about it,” President Di Mare said.
Bruce Gifford, the interim dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management, supported Di Mare’s statement and said that until the Board of Governors approved the budget by May 6, she was not in the position of giving any statement.
“The president has to get her prepared budget approved from the Board of Governors, and once she hears their decision, then she can talk about it,” Gifford said.
Vanessa Emerson, the newly elected president of the Associated Students’ Government at CSU – Pueblo, believed that President Di Mare has definitely worked very hard in order to be as fair as possible with this budget.
“I know that our president has put a lot of thought into the new budget and I am extremely pleased with the fact that she has reached out to every department in order to make a well-developed decision,” Emerson said. “It will be interesting to see the final result.”