Academic Program Reduction and Curricular Adjustments, Ad-Hoc Committee on

Faculty Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on

Academic Program Reduction and Curricular Adjustments

The Faculty Senate approved the Ad Hoc Academic Program Reductions and Curricular Adjustments Committee in October 2020 to ensure meaningful faculty participation in all matters related to potential curricular adjustments and program reductions arising from budget reductions. The Committee is tasked with recommending principles and priorities based on PSU’s values and missions, with planning and implementing transparent communications, and with soliciting faculty input and feedback.

This website provides:

  • Information about the procedures, processes, and metrics that PSU is following for the program reductions and curricular adjustments. Please visit the ReImagine PSU School and College Meetings website for information about upcoming meetings on dashboards, metrics, and guiding principles and priorities. An opportunity to provide feedback is available.
  • Up-to-date information about PSU’s budgetary situation.
  • Key resources and documents.
  • Opportunities to provide feedback and comments for the Intensive English Language Program (IELP):
    • The survey administered by the Faculty Senate during the first 30-day comment period received 102 comments and 19 documents. Members of the APRCA Committee and the Faculty Senate Steering Committee  have read and synthesized the material in a public report to the Senate. The supporting raw data is also available to review.
    • President Stephen Percy announced a provisional plan to reduce the size of the Intensive English Language Program (IELP). Under the plan, IELP would merge with the Office of International Affairs to create the Office of Global Engagement and Innovation, and staffing reductions would take effect Sept. 1. The President’s Office is taking public comments on the plan through June 10. The Faculty Senate also seeks feedback through May 25. 


Facilitators: Rachel Cunliffe, Michele Gamburd

Name Designated by Department (Division)
Chaillé, Peter UCC PA (CUPA)
Cruzan, Mitchell BC BIO (CLAS-Sci)
Cunliffe, Rachel CoC CR (CLAS-SS)
Estes, Jones CoC UNST (OI)
Gallagher, Kellie CoC IELP (OI)
Gamburd, Michele Steering ANT (CLAS-SS)
Gomez, Cynthia CoC (DEI advocate) CRC (AO)
Reynolds, Candyce CoC ELP (COE)
Sager, Alexander EPC PHL (CLAS-AL)
Wakeland, Wayne GC SYS (CLAS-Sci)
Adler, Sy Provost (CUPA)
Baccar, Cindy Provost REG (AO)
Hopes, Vanelda Provost OAA (AO)
Maddox, David Provost OAA (AO)
Xiong, Diane Provost OAA (AO)

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Faculty Senate created this ad-hoc committee in October 2020 with the following charge:

  • Focus holistically on PSU’s collective future
  • Ensure faculty participation in meaningful, inclusive, and formative discussions of curricular adjustments related to budget reduction
  • Recommend principles and priorities based on PSU's values and mission, with an emphasis on applying a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, and share these with OAA to guide decision-making
  • Plan and implement transparent communications, including but not limited to periodic town hall forums on budget information, regular campus-wide emails, and a website or Google Drive for material, including data on which decisions about reorganizing or eliminating programs are based
  • Solicit input and feedback from faculty, including but not limited to implementing surveys and arranging other forums for gathering input and suggestions. Ensure input and involvement from Deans and Chairs/department heads. Facilitate communication with and incorporate input from students, staff, and other stakeholders
  • Plan and implement meetings and interactions (preferably with professionally mediation), including but not limited to meetings of Colleges/Schools
  • Assist, if requested by OAA or AAUP, in contractually mandated retrenchment hearings arising from elimination of positions as per Article 23 of the PSU-AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement

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1991 Cuts

Portland State went through budget cuts during the winter and spring of 1991 that resulted in layoffs and the elimination of programs. The need for cuts arose from Ballot Measure 5, a tax measure passed in November, 1990, which gutted local tax funding for public schools. The measure shifted support for K-12 education to the state budget, thus spreading the state’s support for education more thinly than before and resulting in severe cuts to higher education. Information on how PSU, under the leadership of then-President Judith Ramaley, handled these cuts is available in the Faculty Senate minutes for January and February 1991, which are archived on PDXScholar.

Academic Program Prioritization (APP) 2013-2016

PSU engaged in an Academic Program Prioritization effort in 2013-2016. This effort, initiated by then-Provost Sona Andrews in fall 2013, attempted an ambitious evaluation of all of the programs at the University. An ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate explored the possibility, and another ad hoc committee formed in June 2014 worked through the winter of 2016 on implementation. The Faculty Senate meeting packet from April 2014 contains a great deal of information about this process, as does a report in 2018 to the PSU Board of Trustees. Distrust between the administration and the faculty, coupled with no pressing need at the time for program elimination, derailed the process. The committee created an “Atlas of Academic Programs” containing qualitative and quantitative data but dropped the evaluative/ scoring component of the work. 

Academic Program Examination/ Elimination/ Reduction (APRCA) 2020 - Present 

In the spring of 2020, Provost Susan Jeffords asked the Faculty Senate to make plans for how to provide faculty input into potential program reductions and eliminations due to a persistent decline in enrollment. 

In June of 2020, the Faculty Senate charged the Ad Hoc Summer Research Committee on Academic Program Examination / Reorganization to envision models, explore options, and gather data. The summer committee submitted a report to Senate that recommended, among other things, the formation of another ad hoc committee. In October 2020, the Senate charged the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Program Reduction and Curricular Adjustments (APRCA). In addition to designees from the Provost’s Office and the Committee on Committees, the APRCA committee includes representatives from five main Faculty Senate committees: the Steering Committee, the Budget Committee, the Education Policy Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the Graduate Council. The APRCA committee has filed and will continue to file monthly reports from February 2021 forward; these reports are available in the reports section of this webpage.

Provost’s Program Reduction Working Group (PPRWG) 2021 - Present

In January 2021, following news of a worse-than-expected downturn in enrollments, Provost Jeffords created the Provost’s Program Reduction Working Group and gave it “the task of identifying units to consider for possible reduction, reorganization, or elimination.” The PPRWG will establish “driver” metrics to judge “unit-level performance” and “value” metrics that reflect “institutional values and priorities.” Metrics were due on February 15th and an analysis of units is due by April 1st. Thereafter, “Proposed reductions will follow all required processes outlined by the Faculty Senate and/or in Articles 22 & 23 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” 

ReImagine PSU School and College Meetings

The Faculty Senate committee on Academic Program Prioritization and Curricular Adjustments (APRCA) and the Provost's Program Reduction Working Group (PPRWG) will discuss and seek faculty feedback on the principles, priorities, and metrics that will guide intentional, strategic thinking around sustainable budgeting and curricular redesign. Provost Jeffords will outline the process and timeline and the application process for ReImagine PSU funding. Each meeting will conclude with small-group opportunities to generate ideas for ReImagine projects to take PSU's community engagement and access missions into the next decade. 

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Several areas of the university are involved in issues related to budget and program reduction. 

Division of Finance and Administration (FADM)

According to their website, the Division of Finance and Administration (FADM) “comprises of a diverse group of departments that manage critical campus functions including emergency management, transportation and parking, budgeting, payroll and campus facilities" and "provides guidance and assistance to the university community around the efficient planning for and use of institutional financial resources."   

The Office of Academic Affairs

According to the OAA website, “Academic Affairs is the central administrative office, with responsibility for the institutional academic mission, programming and policy implementation, support programs for academic personnel and students, academic fiscal management, and collective bargaining” with three academic unions. The Provost heads the Office of Academic Affairs, and her leadership team includes Vice Provosts and the Deans of the University’s Schools and Colleges. 

The Provost leads the Position Review Committee, which considers exceptions to the university’s hiring freeze. She has also appointed a Program Reduction Working Group whose charge is to “identify metrics and conduct analyses that will inform recommendations to her of units to consider in the Program Reduction process.”   

Faculty Senate 

The Faculty Senate has a number of permanent and ad hoc committees involved with discussions around budget-related academic program reductions.  

The Faculty Senate Budget Committee is charged to “analyze budgetary implications of the establishment, abolition, or major alteration of the structure or educational function of departments, schools, colleges, or other significant academic entities through the review of a business plan that anticipates and provides for the long-term financial viability of the unit, and report this to the Senate.” It is also charged to “recommend to the President and to the Senate policies to be followed in implementing any declaration of financial exigency.” A designee from the Budget Committee sits on the APRCA committee. 

The Faculty Senate Steering Committee is charged with “referring problems to appropriate committees and coordinating the work of the different committees.” In September 2020, the Steering committee and the Senate received the report of the Ad Hoc Summer Research Committee on Academic Program Examination / Reorganization. In October, the Steering Committee put forward a resolution to form the APRCA committee, which is charged with handling academic and curricular issues affected by budget reductions. When the administration reaches out to the Faculty Senate, communication usually flows through the Presiding Officer and the Steering Committee. Steering has delegated some planning related to budget cuts to APRCA, and a representative of the Steering Committee sits on APRCA. 


The Portland State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (PSU-AAUP) is the union that represents faculty and Academic Professionals who have appointments of .5 FTE and above. The PSU-AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement (contract) governs many aspects of faculty and Academic Professional employee relationships with PSU, including issues related to salary, benefits, and layoffs. 



Information on the University budget is available through the Division of Finance and Administration (FADM). Information about the budget for the upcoming year is available on the Budget Office webpage. In addition, on Monday, February 22nd, FADM held a University Budget Town Hall.

On March 9 and March 11, the Office of Academic Affairs hosted budget forums related to the new OAA budget model and provided information about the financial situation for the Colleges and Schools.

The Office of Institutional Research and Planning offers a detailed explanation of the enrollment forecasting process on their Statistical Look webpage.

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Article 22 Retrenchment

Special Meeting of Faculty Senate, 15 Mar. 2021, 3:00-5:00:

Article 22 process

Article 22 of the PSU-AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines a process for how the University will move forward if financial issues require program reductions in academic units. A simplified Article 22 checklist is available for view.

The Faculty Senate is committed to making sure that these important processes do not take place after faculty on 9-month contracts have gone off contract. We will endeavor to ensure that any such processes have wrapped up for the year by or before June 15th, 2021. 

As outlined in Article 22.3(a), on February 4, 2021, President Percy declared that a condition requiring departmental reduction in the Intensive English Language Program exists. 

As outlined in Article 22.3(c), “The President or designee shall present a full description and analysis of the financial condition of the University at a regular or special meeting of the Faculty Senate.” The President’s Office, OAA, and Faculty Senate scheduled a special Faculty Senate meeting for March 15th, 2021.

Following the Faculty Senate meeting, Article 22.3(d) provides for a 30-day comment period during which comments and recommendations will be provided to the President’s Office and to the Faculty Senate. The Senate received 102 comments and 19 documents on the feedback form. Members of the APRCA Committee and the Faculty Senate Steering Committee have read and synthesized the material in a public report to the Senate. asdf Update, 4/26/21 asdf. The supporting raw data is also available to review.

Upon considering the comments received, according to Article 22.4, if the President decides to move forward with reductions, the President proposes a preliminary plan and another 30-day comment period begins. (Further details about how the second set of comments will be collected will be posted on this page when they become available.)

Article 22.5 provides information on the order of any layoffs that may be recommended. 

How does the Article 22 process for IELP relate to APRCA and the PPRWG? 

Budget reduction conversations are moving forward through multiple avenues. During the winter and spring of 2021, one unit on campus, the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), is engaged with an Article 22 process as described above.

In parallel, the APRCA committee and the PPRWG are crafting principles and metrics to scaffold conversations about reductions elsewhere on campus that may take place in future academic years (AY22 and beyond). 

Comments and recommendations regarding IELP will be solicited through a feedback form here, after the March 15th meeting.

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Guiding Principles

The APRCA committee is charged with recommending "principles and priorities based on PSU's values and mission, with an emphasis on applying a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, and sharing these with OAA to guide decision-making." The committee drafted a preliminary set of principles and priorities and revised the document based on feedback received from the campus community. The APRCA Guiding Principles and Priorities will shape discussion about upcoming budget reductions and curricular adjustments.


Monthly Report, May 2021 [2021.05.03 G.4]
Steering & APRCA Report on IELP, April 2021 and the supporting raw data [feedback on March 15th Special Meeting, 2021.05.03 G.3]
Supplement: Steering & APRCA Data for Report on IELP, April 2021
Monthly Report, April 2021 [2021.04.05 G.3]
Article 22 Process Report, Special Meeting [2021.03.15 G.3]
Monthly Report, March 2021 [2021.03.01 G.5]
Monthly Report, February 2021 [2021.02.01 G.4]

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