Colleges Column

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W. Ann Reynolds, the chancellor of the City University of New York, last week presented to the system's 19 campus presidents an advisory committee's report that calls for the consolidation and elimination of programs on some campuses to free up resources for the expansion of other programs.

The report, which is based on an analysis of student enrollment in certain programs, demographic information, and workforce projections, is intended to serve as the basis for discussion at each campus on how to most efficiently use faculty and financial resources.

The academic-planning effort would serve to better unify the system and centralize decision-making power, the committee's report said.

Prepared by an advisory committee consisting of campus presidents and faculty members, the report was commissioned by Ms. Reynolds last March at the request of CUNY's board of trustees. She has asked that individual campuses comment on the 160-page report by March 31.

Among other recommendations, the report calls for the scrutiny of programs at each campus and the consolidation, for example, of secretarial science, certain foreign-language, and some master's-degree programs.

The committee also suggests the expansion of such programs as mathematics, the sciences, certain health programs, and some ethnic-studies areas.

It also recommends the sharing of faculty members across campuses and the possibility of students' traveling between campuses for classes.

The report states that such an academic-planning effort is necessary to balance an expected rise in enrollments with declining governmental financial support.

A new study reports that over the last 20 years, students have required more financial aid to pay for college, and that higher-education institutions increasingly have used their own funds to provide loans and grants.

The report by the American Council on Education, "Student Financial Aid: The Growth of Academic Credit's Other Meaning,'' also indicates that the purchasing power of loan, grant, and scholarship aid decreased between the 1970-71 and the 1989-90 academic years.

The report also confirms earlier studies and anecdotal evidence that students are increasingly relying on loans rather than grants to fund their postsecondary education.

Part of the A.C.E.'s research-brief series, the report is available as part of the series for $58 annually. Write or call the A.C.E.'s Division of Policy Analysis and Research, 1 Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036-1193; (202) 939-9450.--M.P.

Vol. 12, Issue 15

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