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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Phase II updates include new parking lot, ‘watch’ on grad programs, potential workforce reduction

As part of A New Way of Proceeding, Loyola University’s Phase II process has been underway seeking to strengthen the University’s market competitiveness, identify new sources of revenue, reduce and reallocate existing funds and examine the institution’s programmatic offerings and current structure. Twelve working groups composed of administrators, staff, faculty and students were formed in the fall to propose recommendations for President Brian Linnane, S.J., to review as he deliberates the next steps for Loyola.

Our internal examination is just one manifestation of the challenges now facing universities across the country, whose business models of reliance on undergraduate tuition revenue have become unsustainable. The days of seven percent tuition increases are behind us. For students and their families, that’s the good news.

The bad news is that funding the future of Loyola University Maryland (and most other higher education institutions in the country) will require some creative solutions and challenging sacrifices. Thus far, Loyola’s process has been less painful than that of sister schools, notably St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where a Faculty Senate vote of no confidence in two top University administrators has left the campus community in turmoil. St. Joe’s students and faculty even staged a protest outside of their Board of Trustees meeting.

However, Loyola is not without its burden to bear, facing a structural deficit of over $5 million in the budget for the 2015 fiscal year. “As you know, Loyola University Maryland faces serious financial challenges in the immediate and long term that result from the changing environment of postsecondary education in the United States,” Rev. Linnane wrote in a letter to members of the campus community. “I have continued to emphasize that our new way of proceeding will be different from previous business models and that the change involved will be challenging, indeed painful, for all of us.”

After the initial round of recommendations was proposed by five of the working groups, Rev. Linnane has accepted four of the 12 recommendations, while the rest will require further study.

Approved from round one:

  • Additional health care benefit options
  • Paid parking lot on the blacktop of DGA field
  • Creating policies on cell phones, travel and entertainment
  • Installing energy savings measures at the FAC.

On March 24, Rev. Linnane responded to the second round of recommendations and will accept the following:

  • Develop a continuing education program
  • Grow online and hybrid graduate programs
  • Phase out the graduate program in computer science
  • Establish a common calendar of University events
  • Enforce a ban on space heaters.

Rev. Linnane will also place underperforming graduate programs on “watch,” requesting the relevant deans to annually monitor their progress on enrollments and financial targets. Dr. Timothy Snyder, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Rev. Linnane have also agreed to be cautious about approving new tenure-track positions in departments with underperforming graduate programs. While a few recommendations concerning benefits and compensation have been proposed, Rev. Linnane will not deliver a final response until all such proposals have been received and reviewed.

The most notable recommendations from the third round include developing nontraditional summer courses, reducing administrative and staff positions at the University, establishing a process to annually monitor graduate programs and creating a Center for Inclusion and Equity.

Potential staff reduction is, of course, one of the most difficult proposals being considered.

“[The working group] found that comparatively, Loyola’s staff and administration is not excessive in terms of other universities,” said Terrence Sawyer, vice president for Administration and co-chair of the Phase II Committee. “But it was still their view that there are opportunities for efficiencies… We think the vice presidents and the deans should be asked to look at this with an even greater degree of scrutiny than they have in the past.”

Rev. Linnane will respond to this recommendation and others from the third round within the next few weeks. There will likely be two more rounds of proposals before Phase II is officially completed on July 1; however, A New Way of Proceeding will be an ongoing initiative.

“What will be most useful about [Phase II] for Loyola is if it changes how we think about how we spend money and the things we’re attentive to,” said Dr. Stephen Fowl, professor of Theology and co-chair of the Phase II Committee. “If that changes our day-to-day practice, that’ll never end.”

Members of the Loyola community can submit ideas and feedback for Rev. Linnane and the Phase II Committee via Loyola’s A New Way of Proceeding webpage.


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Phase II updates include new parking lot, ‘watch’ on grad programs, potential workforce reduction