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Overview for Academic Responders

Charging Forward is a systematic process of prioritizing academic and administrative programs and services to strategically reallocate resources to support priority programs. This important initiative will allow us to reinvest and support those programs that further our vision and reputation, help us take advantage of opportunities, and manage future challenges without increasing the overall budget. The prioritization process is being coordinated through the work of members appointed by the President to the academic or administrative task forces.


It is important to note that this process is not an evaluation of programs to create a quality ranking; it is to determine strategic areas of investment for the university in alignment with university goals and the Vision 2020 strategic plan.


Program prioritization, a method formulated by higher education consultant and president emeritus of the University of Northern Colorado, Robert C. Dickeson, reviews all academic and administrative programs supported by the operating budget, simultaneously and equally, against stated criteria. The Dickeson approach emphasizes openness, transparency and broad participation as integral to the success of the process. Based on evidence provided, programs are placed into a resource allocation category. Categories range from recommendation for enhanced support to candidates for phase out.

Program prioritization emphasizes the importance of assessment and reflection to yield a deeper understanding of our academic and administrative programs and the resources needed to support them. The evidence-based decision-making process will help us design a roadmap for investment and reallocation over time to achieve our vision. President Kaplan has indicated that overall, we must continue to strengthen our core academic programs while prioritizing new areas for investment and explore creating new majors that may be more attractive to prospective, higher-achieving students. We will require additional resources to achieve these goals, which will initially have to come from a reallocation of our current budget. This should, in turn, generate new income, which will allow us to continue to thrive.

The following section of the website will focus on the Academic prioritization process


Academic Task Force

The Academic Task Force is charged with completing a comprehensive review and assessment of all University academic programs in an effort to become more strategic and efficient in response to changing economic conditions and market realities.

Academic Task Force Members:
Gregory Broderick Marc Maniatis
Esin Cakan Virginia Maxwell
Matthew Caporale Michael Morris
Deborah Chin Fadia Narchet
Michael Collura (Co-Chair) Timothy Palmbach
Christopher Dowd Sandra Palumbo
Richard Highfield Jack Phelan
Tara L-Heureux (Co-Chair) Tracy Tamborra

Criteria for Academic Program Prioritization:

The following are the criteria to be used during the periodization process. Responders will answer questions and review data related to each criteria. The task force will review responses and evaluate whether programs should be invested in, based on this criteria.

Criterion 1 - Centrality and Essentiality - Defines the program's primary role(s) at UNH, lists the program's objectives, describes the relationship of this program to other parts of the university and demonstrates how the elements of this program fit into the vision outlined in the strategic plan.

1.1 - Key Functions of the Program
1.2 - Program Objectives
1.3 - Significant Events or Changes in the Program
1.4 - Alignment with UNH 2020 Vision

Criterion 2 - Demand - Provides evidence of the level of demand from students, the UNH community and the broader community for the courses and other services offered by the program. Includes enrollment trends and discussion of regional competition, anticipated growth in fields that employ graduates, etc.

2.1 - External Demand
2.2 - Internal Demand for courses offered by program faculty
2.3 - Competition
2.4 - Occupational Outlook

Criterion 3 – Quality - Includes the qualifications of incoming and leaving students, processes used by the program to assure academic quality, student progression, the level of interdisciplinary and experiential activity in the program, achievements of graduates and other indicators of quality.

3.1 - Quality of Inputs, Students
3.2 - Quality of Inputs, Faculty
3.3 - Teaching Effectiveness
3.4 - Quality of Processes – Assessment
3.5 - Quality of Process - Continuous Improvement
3.6 - Experiential Education Opportunities
3.7 - Quality of Outputs – Student Performance
3.8 - Quality of Outputs – Faculty Performance

Criterion 4 - Productivity - revenue, cost and resources – Includes financial measures, other benefits to the university and direct costs of the program along with measures of productivity.

4.1 - Estimates of Productivity, Revenue and Cost

Criterion 5 - Opportunity Analysis of the Program - This section is your chance to inform the committee on how improvements to the program could be made. An opportunity analysis includes how you would advance the program with the allocation of new resources (budget, staffing, etc.). It is also an opportunity to show how the program could be rebuilt or restructured to respond to new opportunities and perceived threats to the university and to the discipline.

5.1 - Challenges to Program Improvement
5.2 - Capacity Study
5.3 - Opportunities - Existing Resources
5.4 - Opportunities - Additional Resources


Recommended Quintiles for Resource Allocation

After review, each academic and administrative program will be assigned to one of five allocation categories, with an approximately equal number of programs placed into each category. Each category will then be reviewed to align with the budgetary allocation goals of the prioritization process. Again, it is important to note that the task forces are recommending rather than implementing entities.

The five recommended resource allocation categories are:

  • Candidate for Enhanced Support
  • Candidate for Continued Support
  • Candidate for Reduced Support
  • Candidate for Transformation or Restructuring
  • Candidate for Phase Out