Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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UNLV outlines programs suggested for elimination

Educational leadership, recreation sports management and informatics are among the departments recommended for elimination at UNLV, according to a new in-house review committee that will present its findings to the Faculty Senate on Tuesday.

The Presidential Review Committee, made up of five members appointed by UNLV President Neal Smatresk and six members chosen by the Faculty Senate, took into account recommendations for cuts made by academic deans, vice presidents and Provost Michael Bowers.

Smatresk is expected to bring a final list of recommendations to the Board of Regents next month. During the recent special session the Legislature cut education funding by 6.9 percent. To meet that shortfall, Smatresk set a goal of cutting academic affairs spending by $4 million and trimming another $5.7 million from support areas.

Among the committee’s first-tier recommendations for programs to be discontinued to meet the targeted cut of $4 million:

• Educational leadership ($1,529,000)

• Sports education leadership ($645,000)

• Recreation sports management ($633,000)

• Informatics ($472,000)

• Marriage and family therapy ($360,000)

• Teaching-Learning Center ($353,000)

More than 14 hours were spent hearing from department chairs, program directors and key faculty. However, "no one aspect, such as program enrollment or costs, was determinative," according to an executive summary of the committee report provided to the Sun Monday. The Presidential Review Committee members "readily agreed that all programs considered demonstrated significant merits in terms of instructional and research quality, and no one doubted the validity or merit of the disciplines. The decisions made were guided primarily by a concern to preserve those programs considered essential to the curricular and research mission of the university and to reduce or eliminate duplications."

The committee did not endorse the provost’s recommendations to discontinue six programs:

• Clinical lab sciences

• The English Language Center

• Entertainment Engineering

• Management Information Systems

• Women’s Studies

• Urban Affairs Academic Advising Center

Also not endorsed by the committee was the provost’s recommendation to put the School of Nursing on a two-semester schedule and combine the journalism/media studies and communication studies programs.

The Faculty Senate will meet at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Student Union at UNLV.

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