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You are here: Great Falls College MSU > About > Prioritization > FAQ's

Academic and Administrative Prioritization Process


Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the members of the Task Force be required to come to a consensus on final ranking?


The Task Forces will establish their own ground rules. The Task Forces are not deciding bodies—they are simply evaluating the data provided and grouping according to the self-determined weighting of the established criteria. They will then provide recommendations to Dr. Wolff.

How will programs be ranked?


Programs will be grouped into quintiles as outlined below. Each quintile will have equal expenses, but not necessarily equal numbers of programs. Within each quintile, programs will be listed alphabetically.

  • Quintile 1—Upper 20%, Candidates for enhanced resourcing.
  • Quintile 2—Next 20%, Maintain at current resourcing.
  • Quintile 3—Next 20%, Review for current or reduced resourcing.
  • Quintile 4—Next 20%, Requires transformation.
  • Quintile 5—Lwest 20%, Candidates for reduction, phasing out, consolidation or restructuring.

Will the Task Forces meet with individual program heads?


No. All information will be provided to the Task Forces via the Criteria Questionnaire. Any clarification questions will go through Task Force Chairs to the coordinating committee.

Will training be provided for the Task Force?


Yes. The book “Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance” by Robert Dickeson will be provided to all Task Force Members. Additionally, in person training by the “Phoenix 5” will take place the last week in September at the initial Task Force Meetings.

How can the prioritization process be both confidential & transparent?


The process of prioritization is as transparent as possible. Programs for evaluation, Criteria Questionnaires, current stages of the process will all be available on the prioritization website. Final results and rankings will also be published campus-wide. Task Force discussions are completely confidential.

If I’m selected for the Task Force, will I be representing my program?


No. Task Force members will not to advocate for their particular program. Their job is to look at the institution as a whole.

Can you explain the reason for having a faculty member on the Administration Task Force, but not having an administration staff on the Academic Task Force? Does the faculty feel strongly that they would like a seat on the Administration Task Force?


After considerable input, the coordinating committee has determined: only the academic members will serve on the Academic Task Force, and only administrative members will serve on the Administrative Task Force.

Will both Academic and Administrative 5th tier quintiles be looked at together when determining where to find the $250,000?


Yes. Dr. Wolff and the rest of the Executive Team will look at Academic and Administrative programs together when deciding what changes should be made.

Throughout this process are we talking about eliminating programs, and jobs?


All academic and administrative programs will be reviewed, for possible re-organization, enhancement, or cessation. Short answer, yes.

Will Faculty get a teaching release or stipend for serving on another committee/ Task Force?


No. Committee work is defined in the contract (section 4.8) as a professional responsibility and is the foundation for shared decision making and participatory governance on our campus. To be effective, faculty members have to decide when and how to participate. And, we encourage faculty to work closely with their division directors to manage committee assignments so that the workload is manageable. In this instance we appreciate the faculty’s’ willingness to accommodate the need for decisions to be made in a timely manner.

Will staff get additional compensation for serving on another committee/ Task Force?


No. Committee work is the foundation for shared decision making and participatory governance on our campus. Committee work will be completed within the hours of a typical work day.

How does prioritization fit in with internal program review? Is prioritization duplicating program review?


By Board of Regents (BOR) policy, all colleges in the Montana University System have to undergo internal program review. Each college develops their own process and then reports to the BOR each November. The college secured special permission from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) to suspend our internal program reviews for this year. One important difference between prioritization and internal program review is that prioritization gives the institution a mechanism to look at everything all at once and use data gathered to make informed decisions about how we allocate our resources. And, we're doing that with both academic and administrative programs. IPR deals only with academic program. And, IPR is limited in that it only can review 4-6 programs a year.

Over the course of the upcoming year, our internal program review committee will continue to meet regularly. They will focus their work on our current process and determine if we need to make changes and updates.


Lewis Card
Executive Director—Development, Communications & Marketing (406) 771-4412