Questions and Rumors

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Monday Morning's Questions and Rumors of the Week *

Program Prioritization Task Force

March 01, 2010

* These weekly snippets of communication serve as our convenient updates to the Campus community, and are by nature brief and to the point. They complement the more thorough and detailed announcements appearing on our frequent BlackBoard postings and in our occasional Campus-wide electronic mailings. The PPTF believes that “more is better,” and for that reason we have built into our communication plan this feature of purposeful redundancy. Again, a more complete treatment of these issues can be found on the PPTF site of BlackBoard—e.g., FAQs: Academic Program Prioritization, and

Q: A recent Campus mailing from the administration announced its intent to forge a partnership with both NTID and the National Center on Deaf Health Research at the University of Rochester to explore ways of preparing our students for the growing field of health care professions. While the creation of a joint task force to address this area is imminent, does this not seemingly contradict the charge posted for the PPTF to maintain, enhance, reduce, or eliminate programs?

R: No. The president merely expressed an interest in this possibility and will hold all recommendations of this pending joint task force on health care, until the work of PPTF has been completed. And on a similar note, the administration will also put on hold the work of the TF on Reorganization of Academic Affairs until the PPTF has completed its task.

Q: What are the voting procedures characterizing TF decisions?

R: The PPTF follows a simple majority (51%) rule for all house-keeping matters, but a super-majority (75%) rule for all substantive issues.

Q: How often does the TF meet?

R:The PPTF meets every Friday afternoon—even during Monster Snow Storms—and has scheduled several all-day Friday meetings to maintain the integrity of the posted January 2010–January 2011 Timeline Schedule.

Questions/Rumors of Past Weeks


Q: Where can I find the criteria used to define the operational term: “program”?

R: The PPTF BlackBoard site——contains the application of the criteria suggested by Dickeson, R. (2010). PRIORITIZING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND SERVICES. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Also the public website for the PPTF is finally up:

Q: What levels of confidentiality govern PPTF deliberations?

R: As posted:
The PPTF will make the review process and all criteria transparent to the campus community. Key elements (such as criteria and program data) will be discussed with programs and community members before recommendations are made. However PPTF discussions, analysis of individual programs, and interim information regarding the committee’s progress on final recommendations will NOT be provided to anyone outside the PPTF. Members of the task force will observe strict confidentiality rules in order to avoid rumors and politicizing. The final written recommendations of the PPTF will be provided to the Provost and President, who will review and then share them with the community. The PPTF welcomes questions and will respond to them to the extent that such responses do not violate confidentiality. Questions, comments, and feedback should be submitted to

Bottom-line: all questions, whether direct or indirect, being presented to members of the PPTF must be re-directed to the co-chairs for final disposition. This practice is in keeping with the principles of transparency, wherein clear and consistent messages are uniformly addressed to the Campus by the PPTF through its designated spokespersons—the co-chairs.

Q: A recent rumor has it that “half of our existing programs will be eliminated, especially the more expensive ones.

R: Unless the co-chairs made such an announcement, then it is patently false. No one speaks for the PPTF, except the co-chairs. And in this case, the co-chairs have made no such pronouncements.


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