Connect with Clarion Music Alumni & Friends
There's nothing like the start of summer to unwind a little from the hectic pace of the school year. I hope everyone will get a chance to spend time enjoying family and friends over the summer months. Unfortunately, there remain unresolved issues that work to create a sense of unease over this normally relaxing time.
The Clarion University budget issue remains a foreboding concern for many in the Department of Music. The latest news from President Whitney acknowledges the initial support for maintaining PASSHE funding among the PA Senate, but notes that even with state appropriations holding steady, Clarion University will experience yet another multi-million dollar budget shortfall in for the 2012-13 academic year. See my earlier post in which Dr. Whitney lays out the current budget status for the university.
President Whitney has initiated a new approach for comparing fiscal health of each department across the university called a "Scorecard." According to the university website, "Academic and infrastructure scorecards relate information pertaining to the enrollment, financial, and employment strengths of all units at the university." Information on these scorecards will be used to identify programs to be "maintained as they are, to be redesigned, or to be sunsetted (that is, eliminated over time)."
These scorecards are not available to the general public, unfortunately. Departments across the university have found significant and serious errors in the data represented on these scorecards, and many questions remain about the validity of the data as they relate to individual departments and programs. Despite these questions, university administration seems undeterred in their efforts to use this questionable data to eliminate programs.
The music faculty are very concerned that the Department of Music's "scorecard," in its present form, will be used to cut music the program, just as we are in the final steps of having our new degree in Music Entrepreneurship approved by the State System.
As details of our Scorecard, or of scorecards in general, become publicly available, it will be shared here.
NO APSCUF CONTRACT
The faculty and coaches of the PASSHE remain without a collective bargaining agreement, having worked now for nearly a year without a contract. At the last update, negotiations do not appear to be progressing, principally because of the ongoing uncertainty of the PA state budget. Nonetheless, Governor Corbett, in his budget proposal has again asked for double-digit percentage cuts to the State System and related schools that would severley compromise Clarion University's ability to meet its mission of providing "transformative, lifelong learning opportunities through innovative, nationally recognized programs delivered in inclusive, student-centered environments." Faculty and coaches will continue to work under the previous CBA until a new agreement is reached, or until a job action is called. Follow the APSCUF and PASSHE websites for more contract negotiation information.
While fingers a crossed that an agreement can be reached before the start of the Fall semester, very few around here are optimistic that an agreement will be reached anytime soon.
So, uncertainty and turmoil will temper my summer. Wishing you a more settled summer.