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Foundations of the Future

University takes next steps towards divestment, investment and reallocation

By Scott Roberts | 11/19/13 | Updated 11/19/13 | Posted in News, Campus News

The University took its next steps in the Foundations of the Future initiative, making decisions regarding the future of particular academic programs to allow for further reallocation of school resources.

President Walter Harrison sent a message to faculty and staff regarding his decisions towards the elimination of certain academic programs at the University, including gender studies, drama and general psychology.

"I appreciate that in each case there is a strong and thoughtfully considered opposing position; that is what made these decisions so difficult," Harrison said in the message.

Out of the six programs reviewed by the Faculty Senate and administration, President Harrison approved the Provost's recommendation for eliminating the academic major in gender studies, the minor in drama and the M.A. in general psychology.

President Harrison did not approve the recommendation for eliminating two programs, the B.A. in economics and the M.S. in organizational psychology. One academic program, the major in modern languages, was not decided on at that time. These three programs will now go back to the Faculty Senate and administration for further review.

University Provost Sharon Vasquez discussed the initiative in further detail, explaining the ultimate goal of Foundations of the Future.

"It was designed to help us review in order to prioritize in order to secure a source of funds, basically," she said. "So if the pie is gonna stay the same size, and we figure it will for a while, given we're still kind of post-recession, that we need to reorganize the pie in order to maybe devote more funds to things we ought to be doing."

One misconception about the initiative that raises a great deal of concern among the student body is the idea that if their academic program is eliminated as a result of Foundations of the Future, students will be forced to find a new area of education while attending the University of Hartford.

"Students need to know when they declare a major at the University of Hartford, basically they've created a contract with us. And they are not only entitled, it's our responsibility to help them achieve their goals when they said this is what I want as my major," Provost Vasquez reassured.

Students will not be dropped from their respective majors if their academic program is eliminated by the initiative; it simply means the University will no longer be accepting incoming students for that program.

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