Departments to vote on academic reorganization recommendations

Ian Davison-1

Ian Davison speaks on behalf of the Academic Reorganization Initiative during the Board of Trustees meeting in the Bovee University Center Lake Superior Room on Dec. 6.  Davison was recently named interim senior vice provost for academic affairs.

After receiving feedback from students, faculty and staff, the committees for academic reorganization have made changes to their preliminary recommendations.

The committees released their preliminary recommendations Jan. 29 and have been soliciting feedback in several forms since. The campus community could provide anonymous feedback online, contact Senior Vice Provost of the Academic Reorganization Initiative Ian Davison or attend one of the feedback sessions facilitated by Carol Cartwright, former president of Kent State University and Bowling Green State University.

Two of the three committees revised their recommendations based on the feedback they received. Committee III, Responsibility Centered Management, updated their recommendations Feb. 20. Committee I, Departments and Colleges, released their revised recommendations Feb. 27. Committee II, Academic Support hasn’t released revisions yet, and is still accepting feedback. The provost’s plan to reorganize academic division was also updated Feb. 27. 

Those revised recommendations are available on the AOR webpage on the CMU website.

Davison said Committee II and the provost will continue collecting feedback and release final recommendations by March 19.

Committee I

The most recent changes made following the feedback sessions were in the College of Education and Human Services. The committee supported the proposal to split the Department of Human Environmental Studies into three separate units. 

However, the committee members pulled back on several recommendations, stating they want more time to explore alternatives to solve the problems in the college. Instead of requiring a 25 percent appointment in the School of Education, the committee wants to look at other ways to make sure teaching methods faculty are included in decision-making.  

One suggestion brought up in a feedback session, which will be discussed among the committees, was the notion of redefining the Professional Educational Unit. Education faculty stated the PEU is not working under its current structure, but by restructuring it, faculty in other colleges could be involved in teacher education decisions. The committee hasn’t proposed a specific recommendation regarding the PEU but does think restructuring could be a possibility.

Regarding the neuroscience program, the committee recommended the deans of the four colleges involved in the program work with program faculty to create more transparent and inclusive bylaws to help the program operate better.

The full transcript of the conversation between the committees and Cartwright is available online. 

Departmental Votes

According to Davison, these are the votes that will occur before classes resume March 12:

· The Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts will vote to divide into the Department of Communication and the Department of Dance and Theater.

· The Department of Human Environmental Studies will vote to separate into three departments: Fashion, Interiors and Design; Human Development and Family Studies; and Food and Nutrition.

· Faculty in the proposed Department of Food and Nutrition and the Gerontology Faculty (both currently in Human Environmental Studies) will vote to move to the College of Health Professions.

· The School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences will vote to create a stand-alone Department of Physical Therapy. All other programs will remain in the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences.

· The School of Health Sciences will vote to incorporate faculty from the Gerontology program, which is currently housed in the College of Education and Human Services.

· The Department of Mathematics will vote to split into a Department of Statistics, Actuarial and Data Sciences and a Department of Mathematics.

Before spring break ends, departments will vote on these changes. The results of the votes will be available after classes resume March 12.

Davison said colleges will vote on the proposals in mid-March and the Academic Senate will vote at its April 10 meeting. After the votes, the Committee I recommendations, along with recommendations from the other committees, will be presented to the Board of Trustees in June.

Committee III

According to Davison, the changes to Committee III recommendations include:

· College budget personnel will continue to report to the deans of the academic colleges.

· Adding a temporary two-year position: Associate Vice Provost for Academic Finance Management to help develop policies and procedures to harmonize fiscal management across colleges.

Provost’s Plan

· The dean of the College of Health Professions will continue to report to the provost.

· A new position, Vice President for Health Affairs, will coordinate all health-related clinical practices, medical compliance and billing across CMU. The dean of the College of Medicine will have this role.

· All curriculum and assessment efforts and team members will be in the new Academic Affairs office in the provost’s office.