Workgroup No.9 discusses organization of colleges

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor-in-Chief

Workgroup No.9, Academic Visioning II, talked about a proposal that involves eight colleges and discussed suggestions about how to reorganize them at their meeting Wednesday.

The Workgroup discussed renaming the College of Arts and Humanities the College of Arts and Letters. The College of Health and Human Services would be a completely new college.

The proposal had two separate divisions under the College of Arts and Letters, which would include communication studies and public affairs along with Humanities and Fine Arts.

English professor Suzie Park said having so many departments underneath the recommended College of Arts and Letters could cause problems in the future.

“If you just look at the number of different programs that are stuffed under the A and L category it looks unwieldy,” Park said.

The departments that were considered under the communications and public affairs division are journalism, political science, philosophy and sociology among others.

Some of the departments under the Humanities and Fine Arts division include Africana Studies, art, English and foreign languages.

Park said she likes the name Arts and Letters but she suggested renaming it to College of Liberal Arts and possibly renaming the communication studies and public affairs division.

Workgroup chair Melinda Mueller, a political science professor, said some communication studies faculty would consider themselves more related to social sciences than arts and humanities so she plans on emailing communication studies, journalism and philosophy faculty members and department chairs to solicit their feedback.

The members were unsure of where exactly to place the School of Continuing Education and talked about housing the school under the current College of Education.

Mueller said that moving the School of Continuing Education to the College of Education could possibly save money, as the university would not have to hire a new dean.

“The cost-saving element there is we have an open dean’s position right now for the dean of the School of Continuing Education,” Mueller said. “Jeff Cross, (associate vice president for academic affairs) is carrying out a dual role right now, (as interim dean of Continuing Education) so maybe we can move Continuing Ed into another college and gain some savings of not having a dean of Continuing Ed.”

The members considered placing Continuing Education under the College of Education because of their similar missions and an overlap with their staffs, Mueller said.

Richard England, dean of the Honors College, said talking with Cross would provide more information for the members to fully assess school’s proper placement.

The members also considered splitting the concentrations in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and putting them in colleges that would match the content.

The school’s current undergraduate concentrations includes apparel and textile designs, financial literacy, hospitality management, family services, merchandising and nutrition dietetics.

Dietetics was considered being placed within the College of Health and Human Services, and the group talked about possibly moving apparel and textile design within the College of Business.

Frances Murphy, a family and consumer sciences professor, said she disagreed with separating the concentrations because they are linked together and would become ineffective if separated. This could also put the FCS accreditations in jeopardy, Murphy, who is not part of the Workgroup, said.

“You have this little figure here and you say ‘what’s the deal with it, let’s cut it off and put it with the other little fingers,” Murphy said. “No, my hand only operates with all of the fingers.”

Murphy said the School of FCS looks at the whole person and provides education that will meet the all of their needs.

“We are not these compartmentalized little people. We have to look at all aspects,” Murphy said.


Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].