York vice-presidents deliver an update on the next phase of AAPR

Vari Hall at night
Vari Hall at night

Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton and Vice-President Finance and Administration Gary Brewer have issued the following update on the Academic and Administrative Program Review (AAPR):

Dear Colleagues:

Following the President’s message to the community issued Nov. 3, and on behalf of Academic Task Force Chair Lisa Philipps and Administrative Task Force Chair Carol Altilia, we are pleased to let you know that the two AAPR Academic and Administrative Task Force Reports will be available at 12pm today, via the AAPR YU Link site. Today marks the beginning of the final phase of York’s Academic and Administrative Program Review, the Response Phase. As we move forward, we remind all community members that this phase of AAPR is only beginning to unfold. Over the coming months there will be multiple opportunities for discussion that will shape how we, as an institution, can move the University’s academic mission forward and respond to our challenging context. We want to assure the community that no decisions on our programs and services have been made. The Task Force Reports are intended to inform our planning and decision making processes in the months ahead. The reports will now be taken up at the local and institutional level, as we reflect on the progress that we have made toward realizing York’s vision, as well as future strategies to advance our priorities and financial sustainability.

Quality and sustainability

In the very early planning stages of AAPR it became evident that our approach to reviewing programs had to be a made for York process. We felt strongly that both external higher education trends and challenges internal to York had made it essential for us to undertake a collegial review of our programs and services across the entire institution that would engage the community in discussion about how we might best position York as a leading institution of higher education. The review has provided data relevant to our core activities that, in combination with other sources of information, will inform our strategic planning over the next number of years particularly in regards to strengthening quality and financial sustainability.

Task force reports

The two task force reports, one report for academic programs and one report for administrative programs, will be available at 12pm today via the Task Force Reports page of the AAPR YU Link site. This site is only available to York employees, using Passport York login information.

The task forces based their reports on the Program Information Forms, their associated supporting documentation (Financial Information Form, Enrolment Data, Research Information Form, Staff and Faculty Complement Form, etc.) and the academic and administrative scoring rubrics. The specific methodology that each task force used is outlined in their reports.

Each task force report includes themes, observations and institutional/faculty scatter plots.  The scatter plots reflect the task force assessments of the quality and financial sustainability of all academic programs and of all administrative programs. Detailed explanations of the multiple scatter plot views available to the community are available on the AAPR YU Link site.

Programs are identified in both the task force reports and scatter plots using AAPR Program codes. For this reason, it is suggested that community members review the reports using the AAPR program name and code list available on the AAPR YU Link site. Community members will have access to all academic and administrative programs on the scatter plots, including detailed quadrants through the Scatter plots/PIFs page .

Next steps

Throughout November and December we are encouraging community dialogue and engagement at the local and institutional level to discuss the implications of the reports and to consider strategies and opportunities to address our challenges and enhance our quality. We encourage all community members to participate in these discussions as they will inform faculty and divisional response plans. These plans will outline a faculty’s or division’s response to our overall financial and planning context, shaped in part by the task force reports. Additional information on response plans and a framework to guide their development will be made available on the AAPR YU Link site. The overarching goal of the dialogue and engagement over the coming months is to develop an Institutional Strategic Directions document. This document, informed by faculty and divisional responses, will allow for horizontal conversations across different areas of the University about institutional opportunities. For a summary of the planned response phase activities please see below.

AAPR Response Phase graphic

Community information sessions

We invite all community members to be part of shaping the next phase of AAPR, and to participate in the dialogue around the Task Force Reports. Please plan to attend one of the following community information sessions, where we will begin discussions on the implications of the reports within the broader context of our strategic plans and to get input on the specific recommendations and/or opportunities that you feel hold promise for us as an institution.

  • Friday, Nov. 14  – Keele Campus, 12 to 1:30pm, Winters Dining Hall, Winters College
  • Thursday, Nov. 27 – Glendon College, 12 to 1:30pm, BMO Conference Centre, Glendon Hall
  • Friday, Dec. 5  – Keele Campus, 12 to 1:30pm, Winters Dining Hall, Winters College

As we move into the Response Phase of AAPR, it is important to note that sensitivities may arise from the release of task force reports. We expect task force reports and associated scatter plots to be reviewed and considered within the University, in order to afford our community time to reflect and understand where we are as an institution; while at the same time protecting our reputation. All AAPR documentation is protected by Passport York and will remain accessible only to York employees.

We would like to extend our since thanks to all Administrative and Academic Task Force members for their significant and dedicated efforts in support of AAPR; and to Academic Task Force Chair Lisa Philipps and Administrative Task Force Chair Carol Altilia for their leadership and commitment throughout the analysis and assessment phase.

As always, we will continue to post updates on the AAPR YU Link site, and we look forward to the discussions ahead.

Rhonda and Gary