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Report 94-5: Progress on Regional Academic Planning: A Staff Report to the Commission in Response to the First in a Series of Joint Reports on Regional Academic Planning by California's Public Systems of Higher Education

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

April 1994

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The Supplemental Report of the 1993 Budget Act calls on the California State University, the University of California, and -- to the extent possible -- the California Community Colleges "to consult with each other on a regional basis as plans for campus budget reductions are developed, in order to ensure that particular geographic regions continue to offer an adequate balance of academic program offerings and courses." The language requires that the three systems report jointly to the Commission and the Legislature by February 15, 1994, 1995, and 1996, on their efforts to comply with the Legislature's directive.

In February 1994, the State University and the University of California submitted a joint report to the Commission as required; and, in this agenda item, the Commission staff summarizes that report and comments on its substance, after offering a brief history of regional planning in higher education and of legislative and Commission efforts over recent decades to encourage such planning. The appendix to the document reproduces the universities' report in its entirety.

The staff includes these comments on the universities' report:

"First, while existing collaborative ventures are important to recognize and document, as this first university report does in some detail, establishing new and perhaps different arrangements so that particular geographic regions continue to offer an adequate balance of academic program offerings and courses will undoubtedly be necessary. . . .

"Second, the Supplemental Budget Language mentions that the universities should consult with the California Community Colleges `to the extent possible,' but true regional planning cannot occur without that consultation. . . . The Commission staff believes that representatives of the community colleges and independent institutions should be partners with those of the two public universities in regional planning.

"Third, although the report identifies the Intersegmental Program Review Council as a locus for consideration of statewide rather than strictly campus or even systemwide needs, . . . neither the Council nor the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates . . . can be a substitute for regional planning among the four segments. Successful statewide planning will require activities at every level.

"Finally, the early conclusion that the focus of the joint meetings would be on `opportunities and incentives for intersegmental cooperation and complementarity in the region, rather than on program discontinuation per se' may be premature in view of the explicitness of the Supplemental Budget Language . . . ."

The Educational Policy and Programs Committee of the Commission discussed this report at its meeting of April 18, 1994.

Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis | Program Review

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