From the time it was established, the Academic Programs Prioritization Task Force has stated its commitment to a process that is as transparent and open as possible. To this end, the task force has created vehicles for regular communication with the campus community, and for responding to questions. Early in its deliberations, the task force determined that the templates that are the basis for assessing programs should be released for general review by faculty, staff and students. The task force decided that the best time for this to occur would be in conjunction with the release of the final report, in which the recommendations for categorization of the programs will be made clear.There are two major reasons for choosing the release of the report as the point at which the templates will be made public. The first is to create an environment in which the task force is able to focus fully on the intensive process of reviewing each template and deciding which quintile is appropriate for that program. The task force has established clear deadlines for the submission of templates, and has made it clear that the information provided in the templates will be the basis of the assessments made. Release of the templates in the course of the evaluation process would invite commentary, comparisons and inquiries from the campus community which could potentially distract the task force from its work and impair its ability to complete its mission in a timely fashion.
It is the view of the task force that the templates themselves have little significance to the campus community in isolation from the ratings which will be contained in the final report. It is the link between the information contained in the templates and the assignment of the programs to quintiles that is important. It is the intention of the task force to post all of the program templates at the time the final report is released, and this will allow the campus community to review the body of information on which the task force relied to make its assessments. There is clearly a high level of interest among members of academic units in seeing the information on which the task force will be basing its recommendations. The task force remains committed to completing its work by the November 30 deadline and to releasing all of this information close to that date.