Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 66

Recommendation 66
Department Economics
Consensus Opinion 5 out of 9 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Economics Department voted (5 to 4) to reject the P&RC recommendation to move the Department to the College of Business. The entire faculty unanimously supports (a vote of 9 to 0) the continued existence of an independent Economics Department and continuation of a traditional major in Economics (BS).

The Department believes the traditional Economics degree would be in peril after a move to the College of Business due to AACSB accreditation criteria. The business school accreditation requires the major curriculum to include 25% of the classes in “traditional business subjects”. (Note that the AACSB list of “traditional business subjects” does not include economics courses.) Currently, economics students only take one business course and the AACSB criteria would lead to fewer economics classes in the major. While the Department unanimously supports exploring the addition of a cross-disciplinary Business Economics major, all the faculty strongly believe that the traditional major needs to be preserved. Limiting our program to only a business economics major is too narrow and would not meet the needs of most of the students at Cal Poly Pomona and the community we serve. A traditional economics major has applications well beyond those of business administration including science, government policy, education, engineering, etc. The University should be committed to preserving the full intellectual heritage of the Economics discipline and its contribution to the vitality of any major university’s dynamic learning community.

Steps to work with other departments across all of the colleges need to be taken to avoid duplication and strengthen the academic offerings of the university. The Department plans to foster an interdisciplinary approach with the other social sciences, the humanities, business, engineering, science, urban and regional planning, agriculture, and environmental studies. Economics has applications and links to all of these disciplines. The majority of our faculty strongly believe that this can be best accomplished if the Department remains in CLASS. Through mutual cooperation, the Economics Department will be able to work with interested units to achieve the recommendations of the P&RC, while preserving the integrity of economics as a social science; a main concern among many CPP faculty.

Minority Opinion 4 out of 9 faculty/staff : Pro
Minority Explanation Four of the nine members of the Economics Department voted to accept Recommendations 66 of the P&R Report that would move the Economics Department from CLASS to CBA. The vote was conditioned on the following provisions:
that the Economics Department could continue to exist as an independent Department; that the traditional major in Economics (BS) could be continued to be offered; and
and that the Graduate Program could continue to exist as an independent MS program.

Over the last 10 plus years, the Economics Department has experienced declining faculty, declining FTES, and declining sections, all despite a growing student body at CPP. Although not at their lowest point, undergraduate majors (73 in fall 2007) are close to their lowest point. Business majors are required to take very few economics courses, particularly since all majors on campus were required to go down to 180 units for graduation.
We believe that current business degrees would be enhanced if business students were required to take more economics—and we believe that this would be a natural outcome of our location in CBA. A strong Economics Department in CBA would enhance the stature of the college and the university.
Economics would be taught in the Economics Department, eliminating some redundancies that currently exist. Furthermore, it would be easier for the Economics Department to currently market the economics minor to business students; get intermediate theory courses required or recommended for many majors in CBA; get international trade and finance recommended or required for international business and finance majors, etc. In CBA, many majors have lists of upper division courses that students are required to choose from. If we could get some EC 400 level courses on these lists, that would immediately mitigate some of the current problems we have with offering low enrollment EC 400 level classes. The department could also develop a business economics major, where students take a required core of business classes in addition to required economics courses. We believe that this major may actually be more attractive to CPP students who come to CPP for a polytechnic education as opposed to liberal arts. A major in business economics may actually better prepare our students for the job market upon graduation. Other research synergies among faculty could be created given our location in CBA.
Thus, we believe that in a world of scarcity, the greater good for the most CPP students and for the institution would be served if Economics were to be located in CBA.

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.