Designing a future
|Steve Meats is on the extreme right.|
In the budget recisions of 2009, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) lost funding for chair positions in three departments: Art, Chemistry, and Physics. During the 2009-2010 academic year, these three departments are being administered by Dr. Craig Fuchs, Music chair, who is also chairing Art; Dr. Bobby Winters, Assistant Dean of Arts & Sciences, who is also chairing Chemistry; and Dr. Tim Flood, Mathematics chair, who is also chairing Physics.
The loss of funding for these chair positions came "out of the base," which means that the loss must be considered permanent. These chair positions will not be restored to the College in the foreseeable future. Consequently, the College is currently beginning the process of re-organizing itself into a smaller number of administrative units.
I have discussed the necessities and challenges of reorganization with all CAS departments, and have solicited and received many valuable ideas from the faculty. I have also charged a committee of the current CAS chairs with the responsibility of studying the pros and cons of various combinations of departments and programs. In their deliberations, the committee is being guided by a set of guidelines and principles that emerged from my discussions with chairs and faculty:
- 1. Preserving disciplinary identities
- 2. Creating academic advantages such as potential for cooperative and cross-disciplinary programs
- 3. Preserving current positive combinations of disciplines and programs
- 4. Considering the compatibility of departmental cultures
- 5. Preserving contact with external constituencies
- 6. Considering the impact of issues such as accreditation, General Education, secondary education, budget, location and space, etc.
- 7. Seeking a more equitable balance of departmental size and administrative workload
My hope is that we will be able to deliver a set of recommendations to the Dr. Lynette Olson, Interim Provost, by the middle of the spring semester.
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