KPU fails to forward program changes to ministry, kills the CCJ

Purvey recommends KPU undertakes study to see if other programs affected

Tristan Johnston / The Runner

The faculty of arts has suspended the community criminal justice program, according to a public letter from Dean of Arts Diane Purvey to CCJ students Feb. 11. The letter attributed the suspension to “process concerns.”

But internal emails from Purvey to the criminology faculty show that the suspension was prompted by the university’s failure to forward CCJ program changes to the Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED) in 2010.

The ministry subsequently asked KPU to suspend the program.

“I’m disappointed this occurred and I will do all I can to support you in developing plans moving forward,” she wrote. Purvey didn’t respond to interview requests before press time.

Any substantive proposed changes to programs must be forwarded to AVED. In failing to do this, AVED doesn’t recognize KPU’s CCJ program. No one can enter it until further notice.

“The changes to the degree were such that they should have been sent to the ministry,” Purvey wrote. “In the knowledge that we have been operating a degree that was not Ministry-approved, AVED has requested that we suspend the CCJ.”

The university’s registrar Zena Mitchell confirmed that, “Students who are close to completing the CCJ will indeed receive the CCJ degree,” in a separate email from Purvey to the criminology department.

Unofficial faculty meeting minutes show Purvey has recommended that, “KPU undertake a study to see if other programs might have been affected.”

She added that one student is expected to graduate this spring, two or three more in the fall, and another two or three in Spring 2017.

Purvey also wrote that KPU would not rescind the degrees of those who graduated with the CCJ.

Criminology faculty members now must make a choice about the CCJ program’s future.

“Our current situation is uncertain and that encompasses both the status of where we are, the process to go forward, our options, and the implications of the dissolution of the degree,” says Mike Larsen, criminology faculty member.

At a recent faculty meeting, Larsen says they decided they would take, “Whatever steps we can to ensure there is for the present a degree on the books.”

He says that would look like going back to the pre-2010 version of the program, as that would give the department, “Something to work with.”

“The concern is that if we don’t do that and we want to begin from scratch, then we have no idea if that’s viable or how long that process would take,” he says.

According to a degree creation and alteration flowchart from KPU policy AC10, that route could take two or three years.