An initiative led by Interim President Timothy Trainor and Interim Provost Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera has resulted in the restructuring of the various schools of the University.
Initial discussions about the merging of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) with the School of Natural Science and Mathematics (SNSM) were dropped, and all schools remain intact with a couple of exceptions. The Richard J. Bolte School of Business, CLA and the School of Science and Math stand to be their own separate entities.
The School of Education and Human Services will be dissolved, with the departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice joining CLA and Education reporting directly to the Provost’s office. The Graduate and Professional Studies of Frederick campus will remain as an independent unit, also reporting directly to the Provost.
According to Associate Provost, Dr. David McCarthy, the process started with a faculty survey wherein 85% of faculty responded. The survey was framed as a SWOT analysis, which discussed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the current organization and a possible reorganization.
“Responses were mixed, but very few faculty wanted to maintain the current system,” said McCarthy.
Hunter-Cevera wrote up a report on the survey, which was discussed with Trainor and the Deans, then distributed to the faculty.
Hunter-Cevera and McCarthy held eight feedback and discussion sessions with faculty and Trainor held two faculty forums to get additional input, questions and feedback.
Based on this groundwork, Trainor asked Hunter-Cevera to form a taskforce which was comprised of 14 faculty members and Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Jack Chielli.
The faculty represented most departments and disciplines on campus. They comprised Amanda Beal, Christine Blackshaw, Kurt Blaugher, Carol Hinds, Paige Hochschild, Mindy Korol, Pratibha Kumar, Barbara Marinak, Christine McCauslin, Virginia McGovern, Thane Naberhaus, Michelle Patterson, Frederick Portier, Solomon Tesfu and Dana Ward. The task force met four times and compiled a three-page report.
The report was submitted to the President, who made the final decision on reorganization.
In response to the decision, Dr. Virginia McGovern, the Department Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice, noted that the move back to CLA for many was like “going home.” The department will be staying in that same buildings but simply attending CLA meetings instead of SEHS meetings. The transition will include a shift in the dean to the dean of CLA, Dr. Peter Dorsey.
The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice was originally under the CLA but under President Powell’s term as president, he restructured the schools to what we currently have. McGovern ended by reassuring that, “while with SEHS, several of my department members developed good working relationships with Education department members and they will continue to work together doing research and writing articles together.”