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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dean defends Eller proposal

    Just a day after the Eller College of Management’s White Papers were released to the public, Dean Paul Portney spoke out to defend the proposal and its recommendations.

    Portney’s proposal, which was turned in to the Provost’s Office on Monday, called for the phasing out of the School of Public Administration and Policy. The White Papers recommended the school’s criminal justice program consolidate with UA South, with the remaining curriculum being absorbed by the possibility of a new college in the future.

    Receiving hesitation and opposition to his plan within Eller, Portney said he believes the proposal will actually help students in the long run by giving those who would have been SPAP students a stronger foundation in business than might have been achieved at SPAP, a school that is a “”poor fit”” for the college, according to Portney.

    “”We’re not abandoning students interested in jobs in the not-for-profit sector,”” he said. “”We might even be able to create better-qualified students.””

    Portney’s conclusion on the proposal’s potential impact on students stands in direct contrast to that of Roger Hartley, associate dean of SPAP.

    Phasing out SPAP and distributing its curriculum would hurt the program’s ability to attract students interested in public and not-for-profit management to the university, thus “”killing”” a program that not only ranked in the top 40 in the nation, but preceded even Eller College.

    While Portney maintained that students would be safe, some faculty members will not be so lucky, as the plan calls for the elimination of two lecturers, two classified staff positions, several adjunct positions, several graduate assistants and associates and a student position, as well as the department head stipend. The totals savings were estimated at $563,000.

    Despite the recommended personnel elimination, most faculty largely would not be at risk, most notably tenured faculty and those on a tenure track as opposed to adjuncts, as tenured faculty members will have the opportunity to latch on to positions outside of SPAP, Portney said.

    Eller currently employs about 60 tenured and 30 to 40 tenure-track faculty members, he said.

    Despite the attention Portney’s proposal has gained, the UA community should keep in mind that Eller’s White Papers are just simply recommendations and that there may be opportunities in the future for the college to submit alternative ideas for the UA transformation, Portney said.

    “”This is just one way that the (reformation) could be done,”” he said.

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