The University of Montana has released a list of recommendations regarding academic programs and administrative services after an exhaustive process known by the acronym APASP.

Communications Director Paula Short said many of the over 40 recommendations were focusing on bringing together similar programs to make them more efficient.

“There was much talk about investing in programs that can be strengthened in areas where we have high potential for recruiting and additional success academically,” said Short. “It was also about collaborating and working through an interdisciplinary fashion around the campus. As much as anything, it was looking at ways to innovate.”

Short said the administration seeks to make ‘data-informed decisions’.

“I think many people were expecting to see a list of programs that were going to be eliminated,” she said. “Conversely, the president chose to say ‘here are areas where we’re going to invest, and here are some areas where we’ll need a deeper look. I think it’s important to remember that program elimination or discontinuance was an option among a big portfolio of possibilities for our programs. The president has said the greatest benefit of this nine month process is to enable us to make data-informed decisions. It will be on a case-by-case basis and we’ll have good data for any decisions that we make.”

As the time approaches for Seth Bodnar to take over as president, Short said there will be a process to ensure a smooth transition.

“The transition will take place over a two-week period of time,” she said. “There will be some job-shadowing by incoming president Bodnar, and there will be opportunities for President Stearns to stay on and offer advice. It looks like about the second or third week in January that transition will be complete and President Bodnar will take the reins of the university full-time.”

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