IPRM is a Reality: WLUFA Needs to “Check In”

This article is from the WLUFA Advocate January 2015 3.3

Rick Henderson, Physics and Computer Science

It is now January 5, 2015, and with a new
year comes a time to reflect. The much –
needed holidays were a time to relax and I
can now look back at the IPRM process
with a pair of (mostly) fresh eyes.
Essentially, this is a call to the WLUFA
Executive to look more closely at the reali-
ties of running a university in today’s eco-
nomic climate, and I hope it will encourage
other WLUFA Members who feel the same
way to discuss with the Executive how we
–as Members–want our voice to be heard.

We should not let the voices of the few and
the loud speak for us all.

What follows here is a communication I
sent to members of the WLUFA Executive
this past November. I still stand behind
what I wrote:
As both a CAS Member and a representative on
the IPRM Planning Task Force, I am sick and
tired of reading material that purports to “come
from WLUFA” when it does not have the full
backing of all of its constituents.
WLUFA recently put numerous resources into
creating and sending out a PDF meant to derail
the IPRM process. This was a waste of time and
energy, especially when WLUFA could do better
in serving its Members by helping to find solutions
for problems in the real lives of their constituents
or, perhaps, by making sure that their own aca-
demic programs are valid and representative of the
current needs in education for students.

The backlash demonstrated by faculty members
(primarily in the Faculty of Arts in Water-
loo, as well as Faculty of Liberal Arts in Brant-
ford) is exactly what is described in the early
chapters of the book by Robert E. Dickeson,
Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services.
He describes how during this process faculty fre-
quently try desperately to cling to their bits of
ground for fear of losing it, but that this is most
likely because those same faculty have failed to stay
relevant in today’s (educational and economical)
environment.

All of this anti-IPRM work is an insult to the
faculty members who have laboured for long hours
to develop the IPRM process as a Laurier
-created solution to the Laurier problem of limited re-
sources. This is not merely a copy of “the Dickeson
model.”

Stop getting in the way of progress. Stop trying to
hold your own piece of the pie, and think about
making Laurier a better place for everyone in the
coming centuries. That is what IPRM is all
about.

I ask the readers to remember that the IPRM
process is a Laurier-grown process designed
to make the university a better place for the
future. It is meant to give some direction on
what kinds of programs should be approved,
and which shouldn’t. As always, academic
program change starts in the departments,
and eventually moves to Senate for approval.
This is a legislated requirement of the
University Act and will continue to be the
case once the IPRM process gets implement-
ed, as stated numerous times by the Planning
Task Force co-chairs, and reiterated by Dr.
Blouw in a recent interview.Specific reference
to this can be found on the PTF report,
page 22, second last paragraph.

Every single person on the Planning Task Force, the
Academic Priorities team, and the Adminis-
trative Priorities team was nominated by
Laurier staff and faculty. Some of the
Resource Management team were appointed
because that team required specialized
knowledge of finance and resource manage-
ment, but the rest of the team was also
nominated by staff and faculty.
IPRM is truly a “made at Laurier” solution.

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