Cuts coming to LVC

By Cassandra Barrett ’19, editor-in-chief

The Executive Committee of the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees directed the administration and faculty to work cooperatively to achieve the goal of reducing $1.6 million from academic and organizational costs specifically.

Two faculty members from each academic division of the College were selected to serve on a faculty task force charged by the Board to compile a list of preliminary spending recommendations to be reviewed and approved by the faculty.

This task force includes: Patrick Brewer, associate professor of actuarial science; Treva Clark, associate professor of business administration; Deanna Dodson, professor of psychology; Christopher Heffner, associate professor of music; Jennifer Kanupka, associate professor of education; Walter Patton, associate professor of chemistry; and Grant Taylor, professor of art and visual culture. The task force is led by Michael Green, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

The preliminary recommendations were established by the faculty task force over the summer after it had analyzed data, reviewed faculty input and met with faculty representing every academic department. These recommendations were presented to the faculty via email on Aug. 23. A survey will be sent to the faculty to determine what the preliminary findings may have overlooked and to assess the potential ways in which these recommendations may adversely affect students.

Academic departments and faculty currently have the opportunity to meet with the task force to discuss the recommendations before the final report is submitted for an endorsement vote by the faculty, slated to occur at the Nov. 29 Faculty Business Meeting. When finalized and endorsed by a faculty vote, the final report of the recommendations will be presented to the Executive Committee of the Board on Dec. 5. The full board will vote on the recommendations at its Feb. 8 meeting.

No final decisions have been made concerning what will be eliminated as a result of the findings of the task force, but majors and minors could potentially be discontinued and non-tenured faculty and adjuncts could be terminated.

The faculty task force reviewed majors and minors using a variety of guidelines to determine which may potentially be cut. Majors with first-time, full-time enrollment less than 10, upper-level course enrollment below seven and completions below five have the potential to be discontinued at the College. Similar criteria will be used to determine which minors may be eliminated.

The preliminary report recommends the discontinuation of French, German, philosophy and religion majors. If these preliminary recommendations are voted on and approved, courses in at least some of the eliminated disciplines will still continue to be offered, although the major would no longer be available.

The preliminary report proposes the consolidation and restructuring of international business and global studies into a new major. It also recommends the restructuring of the art and visual culture major to focus solely on studio art and the consolidation of majors and minors within the digital communications program. No final decisions concerning these majors have been determined.

If a student’s major were to be discontinued, LVC would ensure that current and incoming fall 2019 students with an eliminated major would still be able to complete his or her degree. LVC is not able to ensure that courses in eliminated minors will continue to be offered, but assures that academic advisers will work students to find solutions and alternatives.

Dean Green met with the members of Student Government at their meeting on Sept. 10 and will continue to be in close communication with the organization throughout the remainder of this process. Student Government will coordinate an open forum in collaboration with Dean Green and members of the faculty task force to answer student questions and concerns.

The date and location of this forum is to be determined.