The University of Montana is making changes through a process called Academic Program and Administrative Services Prioritization (APASP). Interim President Sheila Stearns met with the media on Thursday and outlined some of the goals of the process.

“To make decisions on investing in an administrative service that I think is key to student success,” said Stearns. “Because retention and student success is the overarching goal of the university. Three quarters of our students every year are already here that we want to retain. We want to re-recruit them every year by serving them well with great classes, great advising, great outcomes and graduation.”

When asked about why the process has become so much more focused this year, Stearns made reference to the movie ‘Moneyball’ and how the Oakland Athletics were able to use statistics to help the team have success.

“They realized by looking much more deeply into data analytics of the kind that are much more available at universities now, just as they are in athletics, to make better decisions,” she said. “It would cause them to make their investment decisions in both financial and human resources a little differently.”

The four categories for prioritizing programs and service include:

Priority for Development and Growth

These programs/units have strong potential for development and growth and should be prioritized for allocation of additional University resources.

Consider for Development and/or Modification

Possible actions may include allocation of additional University resources, development of an improvement plan, consolidation, restructuring, and reinvention.

Priority for Substantial Modification

These programs/units are not sustainable and should be prioritized for substantial modification. Possible actions may include consolidation, disinvestment, moratorium, or discontinuance.

Insufficient Evidence

The available evidence is insufficient to justify a substantive recommendation at this time. (New programs/units only)

The process will continue until December 15, when the president’s final decisions will be shared with the entire campus.

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