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Academic Portfolio Review, Academic Resource Review and Tenure Expansion Assessment

With support from the board of trustees, President Dawn Lindsay and the vice presidents, the AACC community is being asked to engage in an Academic Portfolio and Resource Review, and Tenure Expansion Assessment. These projects are a means of ensuring AACC remains a leading two-year public higher education institution in Maryland and the country. 

The Academic Portfolio Review and Academic Resource Review aim to develop and refine a framework to review our academic offerings on a regular basis. The purpose of developing this framework is to ensure AACC aligns its resources most effectively to support student, faculty and staff success. The Tenure Expansion Assessment will explore and develop considerations to our current and potential tenure policy. Ultimately, the findings from these important projects will help us respond proactively to long-standing external challenges to higher education while fulfilling our mission to offer high quality, affordable, accessible and innovative lifelong learning opportunities.

Academic Portfolio and Resource Reviews

This portion of the project will focus on AACC's academic offerings.


  • Establish a framework through which we can better understand the entire portfolio of academic offerings at AACC.
  • Build capacity of AACC’s faculty and staff to replicate the work and use the results to inform decision-making beyond the time frame of the project.
  • Focus on informing AACC’s future decisions on academic program investment by developing a data-informed culture.
  • Identify opportunities to manage course offerings to ensure resources are aligned to support student, faculty and staff success.
  • Shift from focusing only on how we spend money to helping us ask and answer the question, “Are we serving students best with the resources we have?”

Tenure Expansion Assessment

This portion of the project will focus on AACC's current tenure process and policy, and considerations of how adjustments would impact AACC.


  • Acknowledge best practices for tenure at community colleges in Maryland and nationally.
  • Realize the institutional impacts of tenure expansion at AACC.
  • Understand how expanding tenure at AACC aligns with college goals and best practices.

Project Members

Tanya Millner, Ed.D., provost/vice president for the Division of Learning, will lead these projects. She will be supported by a steering team and data team, and will partner with rpk GROUP. rpk GROUP was chosen as partners in this work because they have a proven track record of building the capacity of AACC’s faculty and staff to replicate the work and use the results to drive decision-making beyond the time frame of the project.

Steering Team

Tanya Millner – project leader; provost/vice president for Learning

Dan Baum – executive director, Strategic Communications

Kathy Bolton – special assistant to the vice president for Learning

Suzanne Boyer – executive director, Human Resources

Art Cimiluca – assistant dean, Mathematics

Karen Cook – dean, School of Business and Law

Sam Cordero–Puchales – student success and retention advisor, SASP

Shad Ewart – professor, Business

John Grabowski – dean, Enrollment Services

Andrew Little – associate vice president, Learning Resources Management

Shuang Liu – associate vice president, Continuous Improvement and Innovation Analytics

Data Team

Kathy Bolton – data team leader; special assistant to the vice president for Learning

Audra Butler - professor, Education

Shuang Liu – data team leader; associate vice president, Continuous Improvement and Innovation Analytics

Lisa Bradley – instructional coordinator, Business

Sue Callahan – director, Budget Office

Riley Clark – assistant dean, Continuous Education and Workforce Development Operations

Liz Clary – academic course scheduler, Learning

Shannon Gilkey – director of operations, Health Sciences

Kellie McCants-Price - professor, Psychology

Lisa Phillips – director, Enterprise Application Services

Lisa Sanford – director, Human Resources Operations

Erin Reeder – director, Enrollment Services Integration

Tricia Selby – assistant director of reporting, PRIA

Tina Smith – interim associate vice president for learning and academic affairs, Learning

Rachelle Tannenbaum – professor, Psychology

Robyn Toman – professor, Mathematics

Project Timeline

The project will begin in August 2022. We anticipate the process to move through the academic year and will include the milestone events highlighted below.

MonthAcademic Portfolio and Resource ReviewsTenure Expansion Assessment
August 2022 Kickoff N/A
August-September 2022 Data collection and verification Data collection and verification
October 2022 Initial analyses Data collection and verification
November 2022 Refine/revise analyses Initial analyses
December 2022 Refine/revise analyses Refine/revise analyses
January 2023 Final report and recommendations Final report and recommendations
February 2023 Workshops with academic leaders N/A
March 2023 Workshops with academic leaders N/A

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Academic Portfolio and Resource Review?

As higher education has developed its response to changes in the external environment, institutions have begun the difficult work of reviewing their academic portfolios. The goals of this project should be to move away from an emphasis on cutting (budgets, people, programs) and a shift to an investment lens. That lens looks at monetary “returns,” and at time, quality, equity and student success. 

The academic portfolio review is intended to help determine where program investments can be made and reallocations can occur. An academic resource review investigates how to maintain high quality instruction that leads to student success. Both analyses will be conducted simultaneously for this project.

What is a Tenure Expansion Assessment?

AACC currently has a cap on the number of faculty members that can be awarded tenure, and faculty and AACC’s administration are interested in understanding the impact to AACC on lifting the tenure cap. rpk GROUP will review the current tenure policy, compare current policy to national trends and best practices, assess the impact of tenure expansion on AACC in the short and longer terms, and make recommendations to AACC's leadership about whether to expand and how to expand tenure eligibility.

Why is AACC conducting these projects now?

As outlined in AACC’s strategic plan, meeting the objective of being a higher education institution promising excellence, engagement and innovation means we must carefully examine how we use existing resources. This project bolsters the capacity of AACC’s administration, faculty and staff to utilize data-informed processes that ensure good stewardship of resources. Within our emphasis on continuous improvement, this work allows AACC to appropriately identify opportunities to harvest and reallocate efforts toward strategic goals that support student success.

How will this project be carried out?

AACC selected rpk GROUP to assist us with this project. rpk GROUP has previous experience working with institutions nationally on reshaping their portfolios and identifying resources for reinvestment, and we previously worked with rpk GROUP on an administrative services review in 2020. rpk GROUP will work with a steering team and data team that represents an intersection of academic and finance team members and pulls personnel from across AACC.

Is this project focused on the elimination of programs?

Program elimination is not a focus of this project. The project will provide a framework and tools to allow stakeholders to understand the entire academic portfolio, including student success across programs and how programs contribute to AACC’s financial health. Any decisions regarding the academic portfolio will follow AACC’s established governance procedures.

How long will this project take?

We anticipate the project to be a focus for the 2022-2023 academic year.


We can help.

Contact Katie Hagan Principal, rpk GROUP

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