The board of trustees for the University of Evansville is throwing its support by President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz as he continues with his plan for a realignment of the school’s academic structure. The Courier & Press reports the board explained its position in an email to faculty, which also criticized the faculty’s recently-passed resolution to draft its own plan.
Pietruszkiewicz announced his plan in December. If approved, the plan would eliminate three departments, more than a dozen majors and nearly a quarter of faculty members, according to the publication.
“The Board of Trustees supports President Pietruszkiewicz and his administration in the daily oversight of the university, including the development of proposals for the reallocation of resources among academics, administration, staff, athletics, and capital projects,” the trustees said in the email. “That is the job of the administration, with the Board of Trustees exercising its fiduciary oversight and responsibility. We thoroughly support the administration as it works through the difficult options related to resource allocation and the sustained future of UE.”
A few weeks after the president unveiled his plan the UE Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for the creation of a committee to draw up an alternative alignment plan. That plan would be presented to the university by the end of the spring semester, which drew criticism from the board.
“The timeline proposed in the resolution is concerning as it appears designed to create unnecessary delay,” the board said. “More troubling, the resolution resembles the process undertaken several years ago known as prioritization. The prioritization process was a painful and unproductive process that pitted faculty members and academic departments against each other. The recommendations from that process resulted in no significant reforms and failed to address UE’s operating deficit. We do not intend to return to such a divisive and failed process.”
The university’s plan is expected to be finalized early this year and the publication reports it will likely be sent to the board for a vote next month.
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