Program prioritization resources

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Laura Woodworth-Ney, May 19, 2013


Many institutions and state systems have launched program prioritization plans under the guidance or influence of Robert Dickeson’s model as represented in his book, Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Robert Dickeson presented a workshop to the Idaho State Board of Education on May 15, 2013. On May 16, 2013, the State Board of Education approved a motion to direct the four-year Idaho institutions “to institute a prioritization of programs process consistent with Dickeson’s prioritization principles and … to use a quintile prioritization approach and communicate to the Board the criteria and weighting to be used after consultation with their respective campuses” (Office of the Idaho State Board of Education Memo, May 17, 2013).

Examples of program prioritization plans are listed below with links to the plans and campus materials.

Institutional Program Prioritization Plans

Appalachian State University:

University of Arizona:

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:

Cleveland State University:

University of Central Oklahoma:

Eastern Carolina University:

Indiana State University:

Humboldt State University:

Kansas State University:

University of Nebraska:

University of the Pacific:

Southeastern Louisiana University:

Southern Connecticut State University:

Tennessee State University:

Washington State University:;

Western Carolina University:

University of West Florida:

Recent Articles

Doug Lederman, “The Pressure to Prioritize,” Inside Higher Ed, November 2010,

Mike Nichols, “Provost Releases Academic Prioritization Results; 16 Percent of Programs Targeted for Elimination,” Central Michigan Life, October 2011,

Rosanna Tamburri, “Fiscal Realities Prompt Some Universities to Review All Programs,” October 2012, UA/University Affairs,

James Bradshaw, “No Department is Safe as Universities Employ U.S. Cost-Cutting Strategy,” The Globe and Mail, December 2012,

Scholarly Articles

Wayne Schamdeka, “Case Study of Accreditation Reaffirmation with Emphasis on Survival-Focused Prioritization for Program Assessment,” Journal of Case Studies in Accreditation & Assessment, Volume 2 (2012): 1-10. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed May 20, 2013).

Perry Schoon Aj Grube and Dan Grube, “Program Prioritization: Staying on Course Through the Storm,” Department Chair, Volume 23, no. 1 (2012): 23-25. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed May 20, 2013).


“What Higher Ed Leaders are Saying about Program Prioritization,” Academic Impressions,

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