UPDATE: CMU yet to announce programs not considered marquee

The CMU seal sits in front of Warriner Hall Jan. 8.

Provost Mary Schutten presented the initial results of the academic program prioritization process to the Board of Trustees on June 23. 

Launched in Fall 2020, the process is a response to budget restraints and declining enrollment. The process, conducted by Schutten and the academic affairs division, identified programs with the highest rates of interest, completion and cost effectiveness. 

Schutten provided a list of 24 programs identified as "marquee." She broke down the programs into categories:
• Marquee programs are priorities when it comes to funding and marketing,
• Middle programs are believed to have potential to become marquee programs,
• "Watchlist" programs are those likely to receive the least amount of funding or support.

She did not provide further detail about how middle and "watchlist" programs would be affected.

“I want to just highlight, this is a new way for us to think here at the university,” Schutten said to trustees. “This has been a challenging (process) ... the watch list programs are those that are least likely to continue forward or receive funding.” 

Five months later, no additional information has been released. There has been no explanation for the gap or information about how the university will proceed.  

On June 30, Central Michigan Life contacted University Communications asking for clarification on which programs are considered middle and "watchlist." 

“The process continues and the portion that is completed is the marquee programs presented at Board of Trustees.” Executive Director of Communications Heather Smith said in an email on July 2.

Schutten announced on Sept. 2 that she would be stepping down as Provost at the end of the fall semester. In a University Communications press release, President Bob Davies recognized Schutten's accomplishments. He listed her facilitation of the academic program prioritization process as one of them.

The campus community still does not fully understand what it means to be a marquee program – or what effects this designation will have on programs that do not meet the criteria.

CM Life asked for additional clarification. On Oct. 22, Schutten sent this statement:

"The marquee program identification for the university was announced in June 2021. The marquee programs and themes are the focus of the 2021-2022 year to fully implement ways to market and enhance the programs. Each college reviewed their programs as part of the normal review process — which is done every year to strategically identify high performing programs as well as those that may be underperforming and facing lower enrollment — as well as the prioritization process. Some colleges categorized programs in three areas and others have not. The only centralized list consists of the marquee programs.  

Provost’s office will continue to engage in this process with each of the college deans."

A panel of the Academic Deans have been invited to the Nov. 9  Academic Senate meeting to discuss prioritization and marquee programs and answer faculty questions, said Academic Senate Chair Katrina Piatek-Jimenez.