By Tanner Anderson, Page Editor
Dr. Brent Reeves, chair of the Faculty Senate sent out an e-mail two weeks ago asking a hypothetical question to ACU’s faculty: Would you fund the new curriculum with your retirement?
Eighty percent of those who participated in the survey responded with no.
The survey sent to faculty members was not meant to distinguish the implementation of the new core curriculum, but was created to discover the faculty’s opinion of the relationship between recent university decisions and the cost of implementing the curriculum, said Reeves, associate professor of management science and computer science.
As part of a plan to cut back costs, the university will reduce the amount it matches in faculty retirement percentages from 8 to 6 percent, and there is a freeze on faculty raises. These changes would loosen the current budget belt enough to implement the new curriculum, Reeves said.
According to a recent faculty survey, 80 percent of faculty members who contributed to the survey hoped new core curriculum changes would not result in a permanent decrease in retirement percentages.
“The survey is actually about the budgeting process,” Reeves said. “The question was whether the faculty believed in [the new curriculum enough] to put forth their own retirement. Because in the future, funds for curriculum will raise.”
Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, responded to the survey and concerns of the faculty in a e-mail saying that economic situations frustrated efforts toward implementing ACU’s 21st Century Vision.
Money wrote administrators will discuss recent budget decisions with the faculty and Faculty Senate, so that budget complexities, strategies and contingencies are better understood.
The core curriculum, when implemented, will not change the number of hours required to graduate, but students will take a 3-hour cornerstone course, instead of the 1-hour university seminar course.
The new core curriculum will only affect incoming freshmen.
“The new curriculum is a new look at what every student in [each department] should know and share and create a broader perspective,” Reeves said. “I’m not against the new curriculum; I would like my students to have a broader conceptual perception. My goal was to ask faculty: what do you think about the trade-off that was made?”