Western Carolina University


Western Provost Kyle Carter presented a preliminary report Friday, Feb. 10, from the college structure review task force, saying that the group's recommendations are still open to discussion but represent progress toward “an organizational structure that will truly serve our students and our university.”

Noting that its recommendations “represent a potentially momentous point in the history of the university,” the task force recommended formation of a new College of Humanities and Sciences to replace the current College of Arts and Sciences, a new College of Fine and Performing Arts and a new College of Health Professions, and the continuation of the current colleges of Applied Sciences, Education and Allied Professions, and Business.

“A healthy organization needs continually to look at how it is evolving and can be improved,” said Carter, who encouraged the campus community to review and comment on the draft document. The document and organization chart are available online at http://www.wcu.edu/provost/CollegeStructureReview.htm

During his recent meeting with faculty, staff and students, Carter responded to questions concerning the size of the proposed College of Humanities and Sciences, the number and cost of administrative positions that would be required to support the suggested changes, the priorities for renovation and construction on campus, the schedule and budget for implementing suggested changes, the level of student involvement in the college redesign process, and more.

The organizational chart shows that the proposed College of Humanities and Sciences would include a new department of communications studies, as well as departments of anthropology, sociology, English, history, modern foreign languages, philosophy and religion, political science, biology, chemistry and physics, geosciences and natural resources management, and mathematics and computer science.

The proposed College of Fine and Performing Arts would include a new School of Music as well as departments of art and interior design, broadcasting and motion picture studies, and theatre and dance.

The proposed College of Health Professions would include a new School of Nursing, new School of Social Services with departments of applied criminology and social work, and new School of Health Sciences with recreational therapy. The department of physical therapy would remain in this college and department of communication sciences and disorders would move in.

The restructured College of Applied Sciences would include the new Kimmel School of Construction Management, a new department of engineering technology, and a new department of engineering, which would include electrical and computer engineering technology, electrical engineering and computer engineering.

The College of Business would continue to include departments of accounting, finance, and entrepreneurship; computer information systems and economics; and marketing and business law. Sport management would be added to management, international business, and hospitality and tourism.

The College of Education and Allied Professions would continue to include departments of birth-through-kindergarten education; elementary and middle grades education; health and human performance with physical education and parks and recreation management; human services; educational leadership and foundations; and psychology.

At the conclusion of the Feb. 10 meeting, Carter praised members of the college redesign task force for their work. They are: Chair Brad Sims; deans' representatives James Costa, Bill Ogletree, Terry Kinnear and Judy Mallory; at-large representatives from the Faculty Senate executive committee, Becky Kornegay, Laura Cruz and Alan Mattingly; and associate deans Dale Carpenter and Debasish Banerjee .

The task force acknowledged that acceptance of its restructuring ideas will require “cultural shifts in the way the university conducts its affairs.” Noting that Western has been restructured only six times since 1952 while experiencing significant growth in programs and enrollment, the task force indicated that there might be lower resistance to change because 43 percent of the full-time faculty have been at Western for fewer than five years and are not immersed in the university's institutional memory.

After four months of extensive discussions, meetings and online surveys, the task force says it selected “a reorganization model that … represents the needs and desires of the faculty while also improving the overall academic and administrative functions of the university.”

Prior to submitting his recommendations to Chancellor John Bardo, Carter will present the plan to the Faculty Senate for advice and comment, and to the Student Government Association. The final restructuring plan is subject to approval by the chancellor, the university's Board of Trustees and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

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Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University