Final Retrenchment Plan Released
By Shannon Houston
The final retrenchment plan for Southern Oregon University was released on Friday, March 14, eliminating the Art History and French majors.
The current Physics program will also be suspended and later re-designed to better meet current workforce demands. Among minors that will be eliminated are Photography, Professional Writing and Film Techniques.
The programs selected for elimination were chosen based on enrollment and graduation rates as well as ties to the regional workforce.
In a press release, SOU President Mary Cullinan said, “I am very proud of our campus for pulling together as a community to solve our budget issues. This is a solid, realistic plan. It will enable SOU to focus resources in areas that are in demand and are core to our mission and student success.”
This plan should help the university reach a goal of 5% fund balance by the end of the 2013-15 biennium along with a 10% fund balance by the end of the 2015-17 biennium. It should ultimately lead to $6.2 million in permanent savings and $7.8 million in one-time savings.
“The hardest part of this process is seeing a number of our talented faculty leave SOU,” said Cullinan. “Because the retrenchment plan is phased in over a few years, faculty will get at least a year’s notice so they have time to plan for their next opportunity. Nonetheless, they will be a loss to our university.”
The cuts made in retrenchment solely effect academic programs rather than other university areas like financial aid and Student Life.
Those who have declared the above majors and minors will still be allowed to finish them through a teach-out program as long as they declare by a certain date. This date has been extended to April 1.
“We’re committed to all our students being able to complete their degrees if they are in affected programs,” said Cullinan.
The final retrenchment plan can be viewed at the State of the University website. Students are also encouraged to contact the Provost’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 541-552- 6114 with any questions regarding the programs affected through retrenchment.