LIONS Plan March Update

To the Campus Community:

In the month since I charged the LIONS Plan Working Groups, the six teams, with input from many across campus, have made excellent progress. I am grateful to all who are contributing for their commitment and creativity. 

Below are highlights of the ideas being considered by the working groups. Please remember the teams are only beginning to explore the feasibility of the suggestions before them. Until that task is complete, we will not know which make the most sense for us and will be the most effective in reaching our goals. I continue to encourage all members of the community to be engaged in this effort by reaching out to members of the workgroups with ideas and feedback.

The next updates will come from the Working Groups on April 1. I will report back to you at that time. I hope you will agree this initial snapshot of where each Working Group has focused is exciting and promising. The energy, creativity, and imagination exhibited by the teams has been striking – made vivid in my regular update meetings with the group leads.

I am very confident the endeavors of our Working Groups will be successful.

With my best wishes and warm regards… 

Michael Bernstein

The School of Continuing, Extended and Professional Studies Working Group has focused on launching our new online health care program, which is projected to bring in considerable revenue over the next five years, as an initial priority. Developing credit-bearing online undergraduate programs for working adults in high-interest/high-need areas and creating an online platform to host programs serving working professionals are also priorities.

The Three-Year Bachelor’s Programs Working Group is examining ways we could increase accepted test credit, provide credit for work or military experience, build in a fourth co-op year, create new 120-credit BA/BS programs focused on degree completers, and develop a 90 to 96 credit BA or BS degree. The team plans to gather considerable input from the campus community in the coming weeks. 

The Community College Partnerships Working Group is focused on implementing dual-admission policies for six priority community colleges (four in New Jersey, two in Pennsylvania), as well as course transfer agreements that would allow for full transfer of credits from these schools to all designated majors at TCNJ. Other initiatives would seek to improve the campus experience for transfer students.

The Faculty Responsibilities and the Core Curriculum Working Group is discussing a range of initiatives, including several that have already been widely communicated in an effort to gain community input. These include adjusting the number of units for a typical baccalaureate degree from 32 units to 30 units and removing the FYW 102 course requirement. Reevaluating the foreign language requirement, identifying alternative faculty workload models, and developing new learning outcomes for the College Core are among the many other topics being addressed. Co-leads Abby O’Connor and Matt Wund are providing additional updates through the Faculty Senate and to AFT membership, respectively.

The Library Operations Working Group has identified resources and data to examine national trends in higher education library usage as well as usage of the Gitenstein Library by TCNJ students and faculty. Alternate uses of some spaces within the library to produce savings for the college as well as to enhance the campus experiences of students, faculty and staff are also being discussed. Financial savings in the areas of acquisitions and remote storage, among others, are being explored. 

The Student Programming and Auxiliaries Working Group is exploring both revenue enhancement and cost control measures. Creating a housing price differential for location and room size will continue to be discussed. Monetizing excess housing inventory through external partnerships with community colleges and summer conference opportunities are also being considered. This group is also analyzing anticipated needs of our current and future students for services such as the college bookstore, a spirit wear shop, and cable television.