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Grad program appeals committee announced

June 1, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Members of a campuswide committee who will hear appeals this month on graduate programs recommended for closure have been announced by Western Michigan University President Judith I. Bailey.

The committee is charged with receiving and evaluating appeals made by programs designated for closure in the University's Graduate Program Review report, "Graduate Education at Western Michigan University: Our First Fifty Years and Strategic Priorities for the Future." The report was introduced to a meeting of the WMU Faculty Senate May 11. Bailey announced an appeals process on May 19.

As previously announced, Dr. John Jellies, professor of biological sciences and vice president of the Faculty Senate, will lead the committee. Dr. Adrian "Ed" Edwards, retiring interim dean of the Haworth College of Business, will provide academic dean representation on the committee. He replaces another dean who had previously been assigned to that role, Dr. Janet I. Pisaneschi, who has since been named WMU's provost and vice president for academic affairs.

In addition to Jellies and Edwards, the committee will be composed of these persons, who are listed according to their title and the campus groups they represent:

Faculty Senate president--Dr. Mary Lagerway, associate professor of nursing;

Graduate Studies Council--Dr. Leigh A. Ford, associate professor of communication, and Dr. Gwen A. Tarbox, associate professor of English;

Research Policies Council--Dr. William W. Liou, associate professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering;

Undergraduate Studies Council--Dr. David S. Reinhold, associate professor of chemistry;

College Curriculum Committees--Dr. Bruce G. Ferrin, associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Lee L. Delisle, associate professor of health, physical education and recreation; and

Academic department chair or director--Dr. Richard O'Hearn, director of the School of Music.

The committee will use the outcome/objective statement and criteria, developed for the original program review and will consider the strategic decision construct, and strategic academic priorities used in the process. Notice of intent to appeal must be submitted to the committee by the end of the business day Tuesday, June 6. Appeals may be filed to correct errors of fact and/or to address errors or disputes in the interpretation of data. Detailed information on the process and the format for appeals is available at www.wmich.edu/president.

The appeals will address only program closure recommendations. For each of the program appeals being evaluated, the committee will recommend one or more of the following actions to the president: closure; continuance, with or without contingencies; or, in unusual instances, deferral of a decision, pending additional information or action. The recommendation to defer would be substantiated by extraordinary circumstances.

The committee will also provide a one-page rationale for each program decision. A copy of the committee's recommendation will be provided to the dean of the college and the chair of the department in which the program is located.

The committee has been charged with completing its work by June 29. The president will then review the committee's decisions and share her final recommendations with deans before taking those final recommendations and the specific reasons for the decisions to the WMU Board of Trustees for consideration during its July 14 meeting.

In addition to program closures, a number of other changes to graduate programs were recommended in the Graduate Program Review report. To be implemented, those recommendations must go through the University's regular curriculum review process.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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