Academic Restructuring Plans

  • IUP has announced a restructuring of its academic colleges and programs, along with the creation of academic areas of focus. The changes are part of an ongoing plan—IUP NextGen—designed to create a sustainable and more student-centered university.

    This website is your official source of information about IUP’s academic restructuring plans. We will update it as details about these plans are determined and when there are opportunities to participate in the decision-making process.

    What’s Happening?

    IUP is responding to a number of financial challenges and demographic issues that have made our current direction financially unsustainable. The coming changes include:

    Adopting areas of academic focus

    Based on student demand, employer demand, and an assessment of IUP’s areas of strength, we are choosing to invest more resources in five academic areas. We need to be sure we are ready to offer, at the highest level of quality, the programs that students and employers are demanding.

    Programs outside these areas of focus remain a vital part of IUP and an IUP education. IUP is a university with a broad range of programs, and it will remain that way. We will maintain our commitment to a strong general education core and a breadth of academic majors including education, the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

    More about IUP’s areas of academic focus

    Reducing the number of academic programs we offer

    Following a year-long review of IUP’s academic programs, we are reducing the number of separate academic programs we offer. Reducing the number of separate programs we offer frees up resources to support programs throughout the university.

    In most cases, removing an academic program does not mean we will not teach that academic topic. Those areas of study will still exist under a new name or college or will merge with a similar program. Only a handful of programs are being discontinued at the end of this academic year. Any student in those programs will have the opportunity to finish their degree.

    In cases where academic requirements change, students currently in those programs will have the option to complete their degree according the old or new requirements.

    Details on changes to specific programs

    Reorganizing our college structure

    In parallel with our changes to academic programs, we are reducing the number of academic colleges from six to five. This change reduces our administrative workforce, creates operational efficiencies, gives each college a strong and focused set of programs, provides more opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and facilitates interdisciplinary student experiences.

    The two colleges that will merge are the College of Fine Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The merger creates a new college that will blend humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. This merger reflects IUP’s ongoing commitment to sustain the fine arts, social sciences, and humanities in challenging times. We believe in the value of these degree programs and understand their importance for all our students through our general education core. They enrich and enhance our university and greater community.

    More about changes to college structure

    Employee layoffs and retrenchments

    Unfortunately, our current financial situation requires that we reduce the number of people we employ. Most of IUP’s revenues come from tuition, and in the last ten years, IUP’s enrollment has fallen by about one-third: from over 15,000 students to just over 10,000. We have not had a similar reduction in the size of our workforce.

    Personnel is our largest expense. We have continued to cut operating budgets, but it is not enough. Personnel cuts are not a step that anyone wants to take, but they are required if we are to position IUP for success now and in the future.

    Given the scope of the cuts needed, few, if any, departments or offices will be untouched by layoffs or retrenchments. Departments and programs both inside and outside of our areas of focus will see cuts to faculty and staff. We will also be reducing the number of managers.

    In all cases, the processes outlined in the collective bargaining agreements are being followed and respected, including timelines and announcements about programs.

    Update, October 30, 2020

    On October 30, 2020, 81 faculty members received notices of retrenchment informing them of the possible end of their employment at IUP in June 2021. Not all of these 81 faculty are in full-time equivalent positions.

    Faculty Notices of Retrenchment, October 30, 2020
    College Faculty Members Retrenched % of Faculty Retrenched
    Totals 81 14%
    Academic Affairs 5 42%
    Eberly College of Business and Information Tech. 13 26%
    Education and Communications 10 12%
    Fine Arts 6 12%
    Health and Human Services 6 4%
    Humanities and Social Sciences 25 18%
    Kopchick College of Natural Science and Mathematics 16 14%

    These are difficult decisions and the administration continues to work with APSCUF, the faculty union, to reduce the impact on affected faculty members.

    As discussed with faculty union leadership, we anticipate the need to reduce our faculty workforce by a total of about 128 full-time equivalent faculty members before the start of the 2021–22 academic year. We have reduced our non-faculty employee number by 111 since July 1, 2019.

    IUP will use attrition and other mechanisms, including further reductions in the use of temporary faculty, to make those additional reductions.

    More about the financial factors behind layoffs and retrenchments