The Program Prioritization Committee is to provide a systematic examination and prioritization of TWU's academic programs. This does not require a numerical ranking of each program, but at the very least requires broad categories of priority that would encompass all programs. Even under ideal circumstances, asking for judgments about academic programs and their hierarchy in an academic setting is at best ambiguous. Therefore, one of the challenges facing the group is to find the compromises that provide some clarity and result in an orderly process. Several fundamental tasks are evident in this assignment:
- Definition of a program - The outcome of the process will partially rest on how programs are defined and grouped within academic units. Even though the focus is only on academic curricular offerings, ambiguities will arise. Dickeson's book focuses one chapter on "Defining What Constitutes A Program."
- Identifying criteria and weights - Example criteria are provided in Dickeson's work; however, the relevancy and importance of specific criteria for TWU, as well as their applicability against a myriad of programs, will need to be determined.
- Strategy for information collection and sharing - A multi-prong approach will be needed for both collecting and disseminating information. Collection of information could range from direct interaction with academic component representatives, and use of surveys, focus groups, open forums, internal and external reports, and TWU's external constituencies, etc. Similarly, a multifaceted communication strategy should be employed with a web site, regular updates, etc.
- Final Rankings - The work should not be constrained to one final ranking. While perhaps less clear-cut for planning needs, several possible rankings based on different models relative to the criteria and their weightings will likely prove more valuable in the long-run than a single categorization outcome.
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