College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences announces several department merges effective Fall 2022
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences interim dean, Marcy Taylor announced several departmental changes effective in Fall 2022.
On Jan. 28, the Interdisciplinary Cultural and Global Studies Council voted to eliminate two departments by merging them with others while placing one program on hiatus.
“CLASS is reorganizing departments and programs in an effort to consolidate resources that will allow us to preserve our core disciplines in the liberal arts and social sciences while also acknowledging that we are smaller than we used to be,” Taylor, said. “I’m hoping that the mergers will allow us to also create something better - something more current and more appealing to students.”
As a part of the Academic Program Prioritization that began in Fall 2020, the CMU Board of Trustees approved the following new departments in June 2021:
The School of Politics, Society, Justice and Public Service will be created by merging Sociology, Social Work, Political Science and Public Administration.
The Department of Philosophy, Anthropology and Religion will be created by a merger of Anthropology, Philosophy and Religion.
The Department of History, World Languages, and Cultures will be created by merging History and World Languages and Cultures.
The Cultural and Global Studies major, and minor will be placed on hiatus this fall though some of the nine related certificates will be offered under the newly-merged departments.
Undergraduate certificates in African and African Diaspora Studies, American Indian Studies, East Asian Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies will be moved into the Department of History, World Languages and Cultures.
The certificate in Cultural Competency will be moved into the Department of Philosophy, Anthropology and Religion and will join a new minor in Intergroup Relations and Justice.
“Reimagining Cultural and Global studies is a critical part of the college’s renewed commitment to offering multidisciplinary programs and courses that match the needs for our students with faculty expertise and research in key areas that affect our world right now,” according to statement from the Interdisciplinary Cultural and Global Studies Council.
The council also voted to eliminate certificates including European Studies, Human Geography, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Social Justice in Global Health.
“We chose to try to see down the road, and the mergers are our best strategy for protecting the disciplines in the liberal arts and social sciences from the impact of continued budget declines,” Taylor said.
The four certificates were removed due to a lack of demand, Taylor said, but classes on such topics are still available.
“Those classes that are currently offered on the certificates are taught by faculty in the departments,” she said. “Students can choose a major or minor in another area that also highlights culture and global engagement.”
Students enrolled in the eliminated programs/departments will still be able to complete their degree.
Taylor anticipates changes in course offerings, but expects they will improve the curriculum. The college will include student input in the decision.
“Some majors will grow into something new, and some majors may no longer be offered,” she said. “The curriculum is always in flux as we try to adjust to student demand. But it’s a process and we won’t leave out student input in that process.”