Updated May 2, 2022
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been prepared to provide information about academic restructuring as part of the financial exigency process at Henderson State University.
FINANCIAL EXIGENCY PROCESS
Q: Why is Henderson announcing changes to academic degrees?
A: Henderson is navigating a multi-year financial recovery process. We cannot grow our way out of this challenge without implementing significant academic restructuring through the financial exigency process. As margins between net tuition and instructional costs widen, our only choice is to re-engineer ourselves to offer the academic degree programs that best fit student and community workforce needs.
Q: How were academic degrees evaluated and what was the process?
A: Under a declaration of financial exigency, the Henderson Faculty Handbook provides a process for both the Chancellor and a faculty-led Financial Exigency Committee to propose a set of recommendations for academic restructure. The Financial Exigency Committee and Chancellor each evaluated data related to academic costs and net marginal costs, student outcomes and completion, and labor market and workforce demand to inform their respective recommendations. A summary of that data is a part of the April 20, 2022 campus communication available at https://hsu.edu/uploads/pages/financial_exigency_update.pdf.
Q: What data were used in the academic restructuring decision-making process?
A: Decisions regarding academic degrees were based on four primary metrics: Net cost basis of delivery and overall net revenue production, unit-based cost of instruction defined at the seat level, student success rates with weighted priority for degree completion, and alignment to community-based workforce needs. Additional information is available at https://www.hsu.edu/uploads/pages/financial_exigency_update.pdf
Q: Have decisions been made about academic restructuring, and where can I access this information?
A: Yes. The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees will consider approval of the recommendations made by the Henderson chancellor. Additional information about academic restructuring and the financial exigency process is available at https://hsu.edu/pages/creating-the-future-of-college-reimagining-henderson
Q: How many tenured and non-tenured faculty positions are impacted by academic restructuring?
A: A total of 67 filled positions are impacted by academic restructuring. This includes 44 tenured faculty and 23 non-tenured faculty. Tenured faculty will receive a 12-month notice, with contracts ending in May 2023. Positions for non-tenured faculty who have received notice will end with their current contract.
Additionally, 21 unfilled positions (12 tenured and 9 non-tenured) will be impacted. A summary of all position lines impacted by academic restructuring is available at https://hsu.edu/pages/creating-the-future-of-college-reimagining-henderson.
Q: What is the amount of salary savings expected from academic restructuring?
A: The expected salary savings from academic restructuring is $2,551,836 in Fiscal Year 2023 and an additional $2,789,180 in Fiscal Year 2024.
Q: Has there been restructuring in non-instructional areas (administration, athletics, and staff) as part of the financial exigency process?
A: Non-instructional units have been reduced through position management and cancellation of third-party contracts by $1.5 million. Administrative position restructuring has saved an additional $300,000. The financial exigency process, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook and being followed at this time, focuses primarily on academic restructuring and staffing.
Q: Historically, Henderson’s academic programs have been organized under three divisions—Ellis College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and Teachers College. Is this changing?
A: Yes. As part of academic restructuring, Henderson’s academic degree programs will be organized into four meta-themes: (1) Health, Education, and Social Sustainability; (2) Applied Professional Science and Technology; (3) Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and (4) Arts and Humanities. These meta-themes align with the competencies, skills, and talents that define the workforce needs in our service area.
Q: What changes are being made to the current academic degrees offered by Henderson?
A: Academic degrees in the current portfolio have been reclassified as either Future Degrees or Teach-Out Degrees. Henderson will continue to offer the academic majors listed as Future Degrees. Teach-Out Degrees will be phased out over time.
Actively enrolled Henderson students and freshmen enrolling in Fall 2022 will be supported to complete degrees in their current academic major, even if the degree has been selected for teach-out. We will work individually with students in teach-out degree programs to ensure that we provide the classes needed for students to graduate.
Q: Where can I see a list of Future Degrees and Teach-Out Degrees sorted by meta-theme?
A: This information is available at https://hsu.edu/pages/creating-the-future-of-college-reimagining-henderson.
Q: How will Henderson offer classes for teach-out degrees?
A: We will utilize a combination of instruction on the Henderson campus and in some cases may work with our educational partners. We are fortunate to be a member of the Arkansas State University System and will utilize the partnerships and resources within the system, where needed, to support Henderson students.
Q: Will the individual academic disciplines associated with Teach-Out Degrees still be taught at Henderson after currently enrolled students and freshmen enrolling in Fall 2022 have an opportunity to complete degrees in those disciplines and the teach-out period ends?
A: Academic disciplines included in Teach-Out Degrees will continue to be incorporated throughout the general education and interdisciplinary studies curriculum or by our educational partners to enhance outcomes for all students. For example, new meta-themes will include tracks for pre-professional degrees—including preparation for medical, veterinary, and pharmacy schools.
Q: Were graduate programs evaluated as part of academic restructuring?
A: Yes. A complete list of Future Degrees and Teach-Out Degrees, including undergraduate and graduate programs, is available at https://hsu.edu/pages/creating-the-future-of-college-reimagining-henderson.
Q: What is the status of certificate programs?
A: Decisions about the composition and structure of certificate programs, as well as their placement within the meta-major structure, will be made as part of future reimagining conversations.
Q: When will a new academic catalog that transitions to Future Degrees be available?
A: A new academic catalog will be developed in the coming months for first-time freshmen and transfer students who enroll in Fall 2023.
Q: Will the Davis-Baker Preschool continue to operate?
A: Yes. The Davis-Baker Preschool will continue to operate as a resource for Henderson students, faculty, staff, and the community.
Q: Will Henderson continue to be identified as Arkansas’s public liberal arts university?
A: The Reimagining Henderson initiative and academic restructuring will warrant updated identity and marketing themes for the university in the coming months.
STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Q: I am a current Henderson student or enrolling as a first-time freshman in Fall 2022. Will I be able to finish my degree at Henderson?
A: Yes. Actively enrolled Henderson students and freshmen enrolling in Fall 2022 will be supported to complete degrees in your current academic major, even if the degree has been selected for teach-out.
Q: My specific degree program is labeled as teach-out. What does this mean for me? Can I complete my degree?
A: Yes. Actively enrolled Henderson students and freshmen enrolling in Fall 2022 will be supported to complete degrees in your current academic major, even if the degree has been selected for teach-out. We will work individually with students in teach-out degree programs to ensure that we provide the classes needed for you to graduate.
Q: Will I still receive my academic scholarships?
A: Yes. Academic scholarships will continue according to the commitments made between Henderson and students.
Q: Will student co-curricular activities continue?
A: Students will have opportunities to participate in Showband, theatre, art, student publications, and eSports as co-curricular activities. Performance scholarships will continue according to the commitments made between Henderson and students.
Q: How can I get more information about registration for Fall 2022 and/or speak with an advisor about my degree plan?
A: Registration information for returning students is available at https://hsu.edu/pages/registration. Freshmen who are enrolling for the Fall 2022 semester should register for Heart Start: https://hsu.edu/pages/future-students/admissions/heart-start. Students will have opportunities to discuss degree plans during the registration process.
Q: How will foundation scholarship endowments for Teach-Out Degrees be administered?
A: Henderson Foundation scholarships for academic disciplines that are designated as Teach-Out Degrees will continue to be awarded while students complete degrees in those areas. Henderson Foundation will work in the coming months with donors regarding future plans for endowments that support academic disciplines recommended for teach-out.