Today, Clarion University of Pennsylvania released its workforce plan.
“The actions in this plan are designed to ensure that Clarion University is positioned for the future,” said Dr. Karen Whitney, Clarion University president. “At the forefront of this plan is for our students to graduate and succeed in their professional careers, thanks to the marketable skills they learn at Clarion.”
Although some programs will no longer accept new students, the students currently enrolled in those programs will be able to complete their degrees.
Whitney recognizes that this plan will impact the employment of individuals.
“These difficult decisions do not reflect the quality of the affected individuals’ work. Rather, they are necessary for alignment of staffing with university program needs,” she said.
By simultaneously investing in growth and growth-supporting areas; eliminating areas of declining enrollments and activities that have not yielded desired results; and building enrollment through increased student retention, the university will address the budget deficit as follows:
$8.3 million reduction of expenses in specific reductions of the workforce;
$2 million increase in revenue through specific increases in student retention; and
$1.7 million reduction of expenses as a result of increased operational efficiencies and improvements.
Meeting the university’s program needs includes investing in the growth areas of business, science and technology, and health professions, and realigning its traditionally strong teacher education professional program.
Highlights of the plan include:
The development of a Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, as well as bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice administration, nursing, and nutrition and fitness.
The realignment of the current College of Education and Human Services to form separate schools, the School of Education and the School of Health Sciences. The School of Education will focus on programs that best prepare teachers for the changing instructional profession. The School of Health Sciences will be comprised of programs currently in the School of Nursing and Allied Health, as well as athletic training, sports and wellness; communication and speech disorders; health and physical education; and rehabilitative sciences.
The integration of programs of the Center for Academic Enrichment into a new, one-stop Center for Student Success. The center will include: academic tutoring and testing; advising; career development and exploration; Clarion orientation and transition; early warning and student intervention services; first- and second-year experience programs; internship and external placement services; office of student disability accommodation; programs for underrepresented students and students of color; programs for academically underperforming students; TRIO grant-funded student support programs; and veterans’ support.
The restructure of the College of Arts and Sciences, combining departments to reduce the total number of departments to five. Among them, the departments of communication and theatre will be combined to provide more opportunity for collaboration and sharing of expertise. The utilization of theatre faculty in communication instruction brings more tenured faculty into the classroom.
The discontinuation of two bachelor’s degree programs, music education and language education/French, which will be placed in moratorium – the programs will no longer accept new students, but students already in the programs will receive the classes and support they need, through graduation.
“The new School of Education will build upon current strengths and opportunities which reflect student enrollment and employer demands,” said Dr. Ron Nowaczyk, Clarion University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “In addition to the continued development of credentials leading to licensure, the school will also develop educational programs – from certificates to degrees – that are not focused on teacher certification.”
The plan identifies 35.75 currently filled positions that are designated for elimination. Of those, 18.75 positions will be eliminated through retrenchment/furlough; seven by reassignment; nine by retirement; and one by reorganization. Beyond that, 14 currently vacant positions will be eliminated, and seven new faculty positions will be advertised for a net total reduction of 42.75 positions.
As part of the plan, the university will:
Introduce a new health and wellness model during the current academic year, in which student health services, counseling services, drug and alcohol education and intramurals and recreation will be combined under a single area with one director.
Appoint a committee comprised of student-athletes, coaches, community members and university administrators to review the current structure of athletics programs and to recommend, by July 1, 2014, a sustainable, tiered intercollegiate sports program.
Through these actions, Clarion University will be better positioned to achieve its mission to provide transformative, lifelong learning opportunities through innovative, nationally recognized programs delivered in inclusive, student-centered environments; its vision, to be a leader in high-impact educational practices that benefit students, employers and community partners; and its goals, to encourage student, faculty and staff success, to promote a diverse student body and employee workforce, to expand our engagement with society, and to thrive financially.
To view the workforce plan in its entirety, click here.
Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.