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Archive for November, 2009

OK, folks…it took almost a week, but we finally have a statement from President Cevallos about the administration’s intentions regarding the Chancellor’s remarks regarding College of Business accreditation.  As you’ll recall, the Chancellor made it clear that any move forward toward accreditation needed to be part of a shared governance process.  Here’s what Cevallos wrote to faculty late yesterday afternoon:

From: “Cevallos, F. Javier” <cevallos@kutztown.edu>
Date: November 24, 2009 3:10:22 PM EST
To: COB-Dept <cob-dept@kutztown.edu>
Subject: COB meeting re: AACSB/December 3 at 11:00 a.m.

To the Faculty in the College of Business;

There has been quite a bit of conversation since the Chancellor’s November 18 visit to our campus regarding the College of Business and the pursuit of AACSB accreditation.  Although in the past there have been several conversations regarding this particular subject, and we have made significant investments in the College for this purpose, these decisions were made under a PASSHE mandate to accredit academic programs.  The Chancellor has suggested that we should have additional conversations on the campus regarding this issue in light of his new policy regarding accreditation, and I concur.  Given the importance of this issue, and the tight time line we face, I would like to invite the faculty in the College  (as well as APSCUF and University Senate representatives) to a meeting to discuss the matter, on Thursday, December 3, 2009  from 11 to 12:00 p.m. at DeFran 100.  I look forward to a productive discussion that will help us move forward in the best way for the College and the University.

Let’s hope that President Cevallos does not intend for a one hour meeting in the second to last week of the semester count for “shared governance.” At the very least, I hope that a timeline for future discussions will be established.  We’ll see.

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On Wednesday, the same day that Chancellor Cavanaugh met with faculty and announced that the AASCB accreditation mandate was lifted, the Chancellor also met with KU students.  Click here to read the Reading Eagle story on the meeting.

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From: Quinn, Paul
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2009 20:55
To: Faculty
Subject: College of Business Accreditation

Fellow Faculty,

I wanted to provide you with a brief update regarding the College of Business and the remarks made by PASSHE Chancellor Cavanaugh on Wednesday.  As you may or may not recall, the recent reorganization of the College of Business has been planned based on a mandate from the Chancellor’s office for AACSB accreditation.  This was a mandate issued by the previous Chancellor, Judy Hample, and supported by the Board of Governors.  On Wednesday, the Chancellor stated that there was no longer a mandate in effect.  He further supported this with a direct email to me and Ken Ehrensal.  His email reads as follows.

***********************************************************************************

Dear Paul and Ken,

During my visit to Kutztown this week, I was asked whether I mandated AACSB accreditation. I responded that I did not. However, I want to ensure that you understand that my predecessor, Chancellor Hample, did indeed mandate such accreditation, and did state that failure to obtain accreditation would likely result in departmental or program elimination. Consequently, decisions on campuses were made, including hiring decisions, that were in response to that mandate. My recent change in that mandate reflects a fundamental shift in system requirements. This shift in mandate happened in the past few months as a result of ongoing discussions regarding the new directions for performance funding being addressed by the Task Force.

John

John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Chancellor
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Dixon University Center
2986 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

***********************************************************************************
This new information changes the rules of the game.

Given this APSCUF-KU thinks the following:

1) the reorganization of the College of Business needs to stop immediately while we have a chance to digest the Chancellor’s Decision and process its effect on our University;

2) the administration and the faculty of the College of Business need to immediately revisit the accreditation process and discuss whether or not to pursue this or any other accreditation

On Monday, November 23 at 4pm APSCUF-KU will hold a special Executive Committee meeting at which time, we will discuss how to best move forward.  The Provost, Dr. Vargas, will be coming to the meeting to answer any questions we have and discuss the change in the mandate with us.  Then, on Tuesday, November 24, members of APSCUF-KU Exec will be meeting with the faculty in the College of Business to discuss how to best move forward. Thanks.

Paul

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One additional piece of information regarding when the Chancellor’s office announced changes in the mandate for College of Business accreditation.  Here’s what the Chancellor says:

From: Cavanaugh, John [jcavanaugh@passhe.edu]
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 3:04 PM
To: Quinn, Paul
Subject: AACSB update

My memory failed in relation to state Meet and Discuss. I went back and checked and it’s in the minutes taken at the September 18 meeting. The information that the system would be no longer be mandating accreditation was shared at that meeting. As I indicated earlier, we don’t have any new written policies/procedures. Those will develop over time.

So, according to the Chancellor, the announcement that PaSSHE will no longer be mandating accreditation was made in September.  What happened from that point, according to PaSSHE at least, is now the question.

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Hey everyone.  New information about the College of Business.  APSCUF-KU President, Paul Quinn has been trying to get concrete information regarding new PaSSHE policy regarding AACSB accreditation.  Below you will find Paul’s questions to the Chancellor and the Chancellor’s responses.  The Chancellor’s responses are in BLUE:
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 11:14 AM
Subject: RE: AACSB
Paul,
Thanks for your note. See specific replies below.

John

From: Paul Quinn [mailto:quinn@kutztown.edu]
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 10:53 AM
To: Cavanaugh, John
Subject: Re: AACSB

Dr. Cavanaugh,

Thanks you for your email message this morning.  This is the first time we have had real clarity from PASSHE on this issue.  We are still trying to digest the impact of your words here on campus based on where we were in the accreditation process before your statements on Wednesday.

I have a few questions for you in regards to this matter.

1) So when you say that Kutztown needs to determine locally whether or not it wants to pursue AACSB accreditation, do you mean that the Kutztown Administration should determine it, or do you mean that the decision should be discussed through shared governance with the faculty and various governing bodies on campus?  I would say it needs to be discussed in a shared governance fashion, with very thorough discussion of the pros/cons. With AACSB, as I indicated in my remarks, there are real downsides for not doing it that should be considered. Some faculty indicated to me they came to Kutztown specifically because AACSB accreditation was a goal. Student recruitment also becomes an issue, as I discussed.

2) You refer to the shift in mandate that has happend these past few months in your email.  Has this shift been made known to the University Presidents prior to your statements on our campus? There has been general discussion only (i.e., that there would no longer be a mandate) recently. As a result, there have been no policy or procedure documents created yet.

3)Was State APSCUF made aware of this shift in mandate or the process that led to the shift in mandate via some sort of memo or the State Meet and Discuss meetings?  Because this change is very recent, I do not believe it has made it yet to the M&D at the state level (though I could be mistaken). That’s a result of the recency of the issue, nothing more. The actual process and details are still evolving, but in fairness to the campus I thought it would be an advance notice to make you aware of the upcoming changes. The performance funding task force will no doubt be recommending more when their work is completed; those will also be brought forward for discussion in appropriate venues (e.g., M&D). But because it had become clear that the accreditation mandate was not going to be one of them, I did not see a reason to withhold that information so decided to pass it along.

I apologize for the directness of my questions, but since your visit to our university, our College of Business has been thrown into a bit of chaos since WE were under the assumption that AACSB accreditation WAS a mandate until your statements on Wednesday.  I am just trying to construct a timeline to discern what happened and how to move forward.  Thanks for your time.  Your assumption was correct—it WAS a mandate until very recently.

Paul

I will try to provide additional updates later today or tomorrow.


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Just in case their is any question about what the Chancellor’s meaning was when he stated on Wednesday there was no mandate for AACSB accreditation in the College of Business, I wanted to post this.  Paul and Ken (APSCUF-KU President and Vice President) were sent this email this morning from the Chancellor.  They forwarded it to APSCUF-KU Exec and I am posting it here:

Dear Paul and Ken,

During my visit to Kutztown this week, I was asked whether I mandated AACSB accreditation. I responded that I did not. However, I want to ensure that you understand that my predecessor, Chancellor Hample, did indeed mandate such accreditation, and did state that failure to obtain accreditation would likely result in departmental or program elimination. Consequently, decisions on campuses were made, including hiring decisions, that were in response to that mandate. My recent change in that mandate reflects a fundamental shift in system requirements. This shift in mandate happened in the past few months as a result of ongoing discussions regarding the new directions for performance funding being addressed by the Task Force.

John

John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Chancellor
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Dixon University Center
2986 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

t:  (717) 720-4010
f:  (717) 720-4011
e:  jcavanaugh@passhe.edu
w:  http://www.passhe.edu

I think it’s important that we get absolute clarity on what has been policy, what changed, and when it changed.

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Earlier tonight, Helen Bieber wrote to APSCUF State Exec and Steve Hicks (for those of you who don’t know, Helen is at KU and is also APSCUF State Secretary) about the Chancellor’s comments last night. Helen asked:

The Chancellor was on campus on Wednesday and in a Q&A session said that campuses were not being forced to get accredited – it was up to discussions at the local level. In other words, Hample’s [former PaSSHE Chancellor] policy is out the window. Where we were previously told that we had to get it or have the college of business be closed down – now we don’t have to do a darn thing.

So my question is to ask if you folks have been told the same thing and are still following Hample’s directive of obtaining accreditation or were you told it is now a local decision?

Here is APSCUF President Steve Hicks’ reply:

At a recent state M&D, Jim Moran said that they were rescinding the “every program needs accrediting that can get it” policy (yes, of the former administration). He said that schools would be expected to pick and choose accreditation, based on what they saw as their niches.

Since then, someone from Millersville (I think it was Howard Ellis, their CP who is in B school) reported that their administration was backing off AACSB accreditation, having heard this new take on accreditation policy out of Dixon Center. [I’m at home or could find the email, but you get the gist]

This will raise questions across the state. KU will have to determine if the business program is part of their profile/niche/etc…

That help?

Steve

Another piece of the puzzle.

 

 

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