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First stage of academic program analysis complete; MU officials to incorporate report data as second stage of review begins

The comprehensive programmatic review is part of campuswide effort to identify efficiencies, investments

January 25th, 2018

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The first stage of a campuswide academic program review is complete, and the University of Missouri today released a report that includes recommendations for investment, collaboration and inactivation of certain academic programs. The academic review is part of an overall effort at the university to identify efficiencies and areas where future investments will be made.

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented, accelerated review and planning process that is exploring all aspects of university operations,” MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said. “Our ultimate goal is for Mizzou to emerge as a national leader of higher education concentrated on our research intensive, AAU and land-grant mission that demonstrates excellence in the broad array of scholarly activities across the campus. We are keenly focused on providing an exceptional and affordable educational experience in focused areas that prepare students for the careers of the future.”

Currently, the university is engaged in an administrative review, strategic planning process and budget review, in addition to the academic review. The administrative review is taking place throughout campus—including IT, Human Resources, Finance and Operations—to determine workloads, discover cost-savings and identify future investments. The strategic planning process is part of a systemwide initiative to shape the university’s vision for the foreseeable future. Finally, the budget review will identify cost-savings and revenue-generating opportunities for both academic programs and administrative offices.

In the first stage of the academic review, the MU Task Force on Academic Program Analysis, Enhancement and Opportunities conducted a comprehensive review of the university’s academic programs, looking at factors such as enrollment, engagement activities and research productivity. The committee’s report recommends that 12 doctoral programs, nine master’s programs, five graduate certificate programs and one doctoral emphasis area be deactivated. The committee stated that some of the programs recommended for deactivation and other programs could benefit from innovative approaches leading to additional collaboration and investment.

“This is about investing in excellence,” MU Provost Garnett Stokes said. “We want to explore innovations for our campus that drive excellence, and we will do things differently from other higher education institutions. We are taking a critical look at every academic program and administrative function.”

Cartwright said that the academic review report is a significant step toward the strategic goal of enhancing MU’s prominence in education, research and engagement. University leaders will review the report and discuss the recommendations with faculty and deans. In the second stage, administrators will collaborate with faculty and review their undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including administrative costs and the impact each program has on undergraduate education across campus. Recommendations and decisions to deactivate additional programs resulting from the stage two review will be made throughout the current spring semester.

“As the only public AAU institution in Missouri, we recruit nationally renowned faculty and attract some of the best and brightest students,” Cartwright said. “As the task force report stated, additional analysis is needed before recommendations can be made regarding undergraduate programs. In the meantime, we will make decisions and begin implementation immediately for some of the recommended programs in the task force report. In other cases, we might need to delay decisions until later in the spring so we can examine additional metrics and determine the impact of deactivating certain programs.”

“As the report pointed out, this is the first part of an important review of our academic programs,” Stokes said.  “It’s an excellent step in the right direction; we need to continue this process and be prepared to make some difficult decisions in the near future. We’ll now engage with the deans as they have an opportunity to review their programs during the second stage of this review.

The 15-member committee was co-chaired by Cooper Drury, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Matt Martens, faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work of the faculty committee,” Cartwright said. “It is always a difficult task to evaluate programs and provide recommendations that could have far-reaching consequences.  They were extremely diligent in their review of the large amount of data. I appreciate their attention to this matter and how much effort has been put into this report over the past several months.”