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College Restructuring

December 10, 2010

Earlier this week, the Provost forwarded to me her final recommendation for structuring our University's colleges.  In considering this recommendation, I have taken into account the responses to the initial recommendation forwarded to the Provost by college governance committees and the Academic Affairs website, as well as the principles outlined in the initial structure recommendation:

  • The organization of instructional units within Academic Affairs must provide an appropriate platform for future growth and development of the university's instructional mission.
  • The organization should develop and enhance synergies among academic programs.
  • The organization should enhance administrative and governance processes.
  • Resources and workload should be rationally distributed.
  • Strong unit identities are important to both internal and external constituents.
  • Equitable representation in advisory and decision-making bodies is a goal.

I believe that the Provost's recommendation is in keeping with these principles, and, thus, I am authorizing Academic Affairs to move ahead with reconfiguring itself into four colleges, as outlined below.

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

  • Departments: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, History, Liberal Studies, Literature and Writing Studies, Modern Language Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Visual and Performing Arts, Women's Studies
  • Interdisciplinary and Emerging Programs: Cognitive Science, Ethnic Studies, Film Studies, Global Studies, Native Studies

College of Science and Mathematics

  • Departments: Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science and Information Systems, Mathematics, Physics
  • Interdisciplinary and Emerging Programs: Biotechnology

College of Education, Health, and Human Services

  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Kinesiology
  • Human Development

College of Business Administration

An overarching theme in the responses to the initial restructuring proposal was concern about the implementation timeline.  I concur with the Provost's recommendation to extend the implementation phase in order to address this concern.  Although the Academic Affairs organization chart and reporting structure will change with the new fiscal year and the appointment of new deans, the implementation phase will extend through at least the 2011-2012 academic year.  My expectation is that the task of allocating budgets and establishing financial infrastructure will take place this spring and summer.   In order to allow time for careful thought and consultation, departments, programs, and schools will continue to follow existing curricula and practices associated with internal governance and promotion, tenure, and evaluation.  Working with new deans, college faculty and staff may decide which, if any, such practices, procedures, and policies they wish to change.

In order to ensure appropriate coordination and communication across units within Academic Affairs and across university divisions, the Provost will convene an implementation steering committee, composed of representatives from faculty, administration, and staff within Academic Affairs and key individuals from Student Affairs and Finance and Administrative Services.  This group will begin its work immediately after the holiday break to develop a fully fleshed out implementation plan and timeline.  As a steering committee, the team will be responsible for delegating and following up on tasks, developing and maintaining communications, and reporting regularly to the Provost on progress and issues associated with implementation.

While I am quite aware that the conversations around college restructuring have been difficult, I am impressed with the fullness of the discussions, with the civility and respect of these discussions and I am optimistic that this restructure and successful hiring of deans for these colleges will be beneficial to our university.