Workgroup No. 9 reviews feedback, prepares for second town hall meeting

Angelica Cataldo, Managing Editor

Workgroup no. 9, Academic Visioning II, discussed the feedback they received from last week’s town hall during a general meeting Monday afternoon.

Workgroup chair Melinda Mueller, a political science professor,said many of the surveys submitted ranged from neutral to negative answers in regarding the idea of consolidating department chair positions.

During the meeting Mueller and education professor Jay Bickford also discussed a meeting they had with the Executive Council of Chairs.

The Organization subcommittee discussed their recommendations and received feedback from executive chair members who were also not in favor of consolidating department chair positions.

“They presented very good arguments,” Mueller said during the meeting.

One of the executive chair council’s arguments was that department chairs do not have the same type union-bargained raises in their contracts and it would be difficult to renegotiate a new contract.

There was also feedback in favor of possibly making a new academic college instead of combining existing ones.

Amanda Harvey, interim associate director for Health Service said the recommendation for possibly decentralizing graduate schools was also met with negative feedback from the audience in attendance during last week’s town hall.

She also said there was a lot of “strong support” regarding the Workgroup’s recommendation to change Eastern’s website course catalogue navigation.

The Workgroup also discussed other ways members can improve their recommendations and provide more facts and figures.

Richard England, dean of the Honors College, suggested the group continue to look at other college’s organizational models by going on school visits and comparing what other schools are doing differently compared to Eastern’s system.

In addition to examining the surveys, the Differential Tuition subcommittee and the Variable Learning Models subcommittee worked on finalizing their presentation for the next town hall meeting.

The Workgroup will hold its second town hall meeting 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Coleman Hall Auditorium.

The Differential Tuition subcommittee, led by Austin Cheney, chair of the technology department and England will be presenting ideas for various tuition plans and different financial strategies for programs at Eastern.

The Variable Learning Models subcommittee, led by English professor Suzie Park and Harvey, will present recommendations for course curriculums and schedules that could benefit Eastern students in the future.

Workgroup No. 9 is hesitantly planning to have the surveys for both town hall meetings open until the Friday before the university’s Spring Break

Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected] .