Report FAQ

faculty/staff faq


 

1. Why did StFX go through this prioritization process? 

The project is about being responsible with our current resources (time, people, money, etc.), ensuring we are properly aligned to best support StFX’s academic mission. 

Academic prioritization is about evaluating all programs and identifying opportunities with regard to where StFX should be focusing its resources to not only sustain, but enhance the academic priorities of the university.  It’s a responsible approach to managing resources. 

 

2. If a program receives an ‘unsustainable’ ranking, does that mean the university will cut the program? 

Being categorized as ‘unsustainable’ indicates that the current program cannot continue to operate in its current form; changes must be made to that program.  If programs cannot be improved to align with the academic mission of the university, then it does not make sense to be allocating resources to them. This community consultation will provide important perspectives that will ultimately ensure all aspects and implications of the report are considered.

 

3. Who will make the final decisions regarding program cuts/changes? 

All decisions will follow appropriate university protocols and approvals before action is taken. (e.g. Senate must approve any change to academic programs. The President must make recommendations to the StFX Board of Governors for changes to academic support programs.)

The report has been provided to the President for review and next steps planning. These recommendations, along with other inputs, such as the community feedback to the report, will help guide decision-making. 

 

4. If these are simply recommendations, when will decisions be made? 

The President has received the report and has asked the StFX community to review and provide feedback. In the weeks ahead, the President will announce details around that process.

 

5. Some say a lot of the results are based on quantitative findings, such as the revenue of a specific program. Sometimes, this does not accurately measure the complete value of the program. What kind of measures were put in place in order to assure that the complete holistic value of the program was considered and evaluated?

The Task Force agreed that quantitative information would not be enough to get a true sense of the work of a program.   Therefore, it was crucial the Task Force use, and value, both qualitative and quantitative information.  In addition, the criteria were weighted and, for example, the combined cost and revenue information only represented 15% of the overall scoring. 

The review considered many other criteria including enrolment and demand for the program, history and function of the program, quality of the program, opportunities for the program, etc. --  all gleaned from the detailed information provided by each program. 

 

6. What will happen to students who are in a program that is ultimately cancelled?

It is important that students understand that the university is committed to allowing them to finish the academic program in which they are enrolled, and to maintaining key academic supports throughout the process.   

 

Student faq

 

The following questions were developed by the StFX Students’ Union on behalf of the student community:

 

1. Why did the task force happen?

In June, 2013, the StFX Board of Governors, responding to an earlier motion by faculty members serving on the Board, approved the Terms of Reference for the Presidential Task Force: Sustaining the Academic Priorities at StFX.  This Task Force, comprised of StFX faculty, staff, and students, was directed with undertaking a program prioritization process that would lead to a comprehensive examination of all of StFX's programs and services. 

Essentially, it’s about being responsible with current resources, ensuring allocations are properly aligned to best support StFX’s academic mission.  

 

2. If my program is in the lowest category, what does that mean for me?

It is important that students understand that the university is committed to allowing students to finish the academic program in which they are enrolled and to maintain key academic supports throughout the process.  

 

3. What kind of student consultation took place during these decisions?

Students were actually directly involved in the project. There were three student members of the Task Force, who served throughout the process.  There were some changes to student membership after Spring convocation, but one student continued and another was added for the evaluation phase.  

In addition, students were invited and attended the Task Force Information Sessions, including one facilitated by one of the student task force members.

 

4. Once the results are released and the action items are going to take place, what measures of student input and consolation will take place?

It’s important to note that the report contains recommendations, not decisions.  There is still much work to be done before decisions will be made. 

The President has received the report and as the next step, has invited all StFX community members to provide a response regarding the report findings.  For more on how to provide a response, click here. 

 

5. What is the process for putting these changes in place?

Again, it is important to note that the report contains recommendations only, not decisions.  There is still much work to be done before decisions will be made, including collecting and analyzing community responses. 

The President will be making an announcement regarding next steps in the weeks ahead. 

Ultimately, any decisions must follow standard university protocols (e.g. any decision to change an academic program must be approved by Senate).

 

6. A lot of the findings are based on quantitative findings, such as, the revenue of a specific program and/or service. Sometimes, this does not accurately measure the complete value of the program and/or service. What kind of measures were put in place in order to assure that the complete holistic value of the program and/or service was considered and evaluated?

The Task Force agreed that quantitative information would not be enough to get a true sense of the work of a program.   Therefore it was crucial the Task Force use, and value, both qualitative and quantitative information.  As a matter of fact, the cost and revenue information only represented 15% of the overall scoring. 

The review considered many other criteria including enrolment and demand for the program, history and function of the program, quality of the program, opportunities for the program, etc. --  all gleaned from the detailed information provided by each program. 

 

7. If a program is placed in the lower categories, what efforts will be made by the school to improve it?

This will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the report findings and community response per program. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.