Text of Joanne Robinson's May 15, 2014
Email Response to Ann Gould
regarding remaining questions related
to the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Stratford Nursing programs:
Here are some short answers to the questions. We can expand at the meeting:
a) Does the tuition line indicate that a 5% tuition hike is expected?
No - we project at least a 5% increase in revenue from tuition based on increases in
enrollment. This is a conservative estimate.
b) What does “subsidy” refer to in that same line?
Subsidy refers to our share of the State subsidy. Every school receives a portion
of the subsidy that Rutgers receives from the State of NJ. The State subsidy
constitutes about 11% of the University's budget. The money received is divided
among all schools in the University. For the coming year, we projected that we
would receive State subsidy funds equivalent to what we received last year.
c) Several committee members expressed the concern that they don’t understand how
revenue in excess of expenditures can be $0.
Essentially, this means that the revenue generated by the tuition that we expect to
collect, our main source of revenue, will cover all expenses associated with
operating the school. In other words, we are confident that we will not lose money
with the merger.
2) Labor Management Committee:
I spoke with Karen Stubaus earlier this week. When she gets the green light from
executive level leaders to proceed with the L/M Committee, she will be in touch with
us if a meeting is requested. We are prepared to meet with the L/M Committee
if/when we are invited.
3) What percentage of the faculty are PTLs and what percentage of courses are taught
Between the two schools, we have a registry of about 100 PTLs compared to 34
full-time faculty post-merger. The vast majority of PTLs teach one clinical course
in their clinical specialty area per year; sometimes they decline to teach and skip
a year or two. The vast majority of our PTLS hold full-time positions in health
care agencies (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, home care, schools) at salaries that
by far surpass what they would make as a faculty member (i.e., about $100K). They
seek teaching opporutinite to see if they like teaching (or know that they like it),
or to expand their skill set, or earn some extra income.
It is useful to understand how and why most schools of nursing rely on PTLs or
"clinical adjuncts" as they are often called. PTLs primarily teach sections of
nursing clinical courses. Clinical courses accompany classroom courses and
basically involve hands-on care of patients in a clinical agency under the
supervision of a practicing nurse who is prepared at the master's level or above.
For example, our undergraduate junior level students take two 3-credit "Adult
Nursing" courses: one is a classroom experience and the other a complementary
clinical experience. In a junior level class of 100 students, 1 section of the
classroom "Adult Nursing" course would be run and taught by a standing faculty
member. In contrast, 13 sections of the complementary clinical course must be run
to adhere to regulatory and healthcare agency requirements of a faculty:student
ratio of no more than 1:8 in the clinical setting. Typically, a standing faculty
member would teach a section of the clinical course and serve as the "lead"
teacher/clinical coordinator, with responsibility for keeping all PTLs "on the same
page." Thus, we rely on PTLs primarily to provide the necessary clinical experiences
that our students require throughout the curriculum.
4) “What role did the central administration (Barchi's office and Strom's office)
play in initiating, developing, and eventually bringing the merger plan forward?”
The merger plan has been a "ground up" initiatve. We made our wishes known to the
Deans of the College of Nursing and School of Nursing in Newark, Chancellor
Pritchett, VP Dick Edwards, Chancellor Strom, and President Barchi. We have
consistently been vocal and transparent about the desire to merge, the reasons for
merging, and the plan as it has evolved.
I hope this provides some preliminary answers to your questions. Marie and I look
forward to meeting with you to expand as needed.