Sobering news from Guelph

Sobering news from Guelph

Apparently, the University of Guelph hired an external consultant to design one of those prioritization exercises and the results are in. In a nutshell, according to Academica,

The University of Guelph last week announced the results of a Program Prioritization Process that ranked programs and services to help determine the ones to which limited financial resources should be allotted. Programs that ranked in the bottom fifth of the analysis included 7 school of language and literature programs, and 6 programs each in mathematics and statistics, sociology and anthropology, and English and theatre. Meanwhile, intercollegiate athletic teams, the food services division, undergraduate residences, and the annual giving and alumni relations unit all scored in the top fifth of the analysis.

To quote an online comment on a recent news story:

I would encourage people to largely treat the PPP report as what it is: a document of dubious value prepared by people who lacked to appropriate expertise and detachment to rank the programs that they were called upon. I don’t blame the task force, but the administration for a hare-brained process. The primary result, on a cursory read, is that administration = good and actual teaching = bad. The process was tilted towards emphasizing revenue generation, not quality of education.

Academic staff would be wise to look very closely at how such processes are organized at their own institutions.

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