USG discusses chancellor’s academic shake-up


Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz

Newly appointed Southern Illinois University chancellor Carlo Montemagno speaks about shared governance at the university Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Anthony Hall. “Shared governance is power – it provides the ability for access,” Montemagno said. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Cory Ray

At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, the Undergraduate Student Government discussed the ways in which Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s academic reorganization plan will affect campus.

When the reorganization plan goes into effect, all college deans will become interim deans, said Emily Buice, USG executive vice president.

Buice said during that period, faculty in each new college will re-select permanent deans.


“It’s not really fair to those that are in a program that they have a dean presented to them that they have no input into,” she said.  

The chancellor does not plan to lay off any faculty because of the reorganization, Buice told senators following a meeting she had with Montemagno.

Currently, there are eight undergraduate academic colleges on campus. Under Montemagno’s plan, the system would be restructured so there are five colleges.

A freestanding School of Education would also have a dean.

“Schools allow more free thought,” said USG President Joshua Bowens. “They bring up a flow of ideas.”

The draft of the plan could change before it is implemented. Montemagno has said he wants the reorganization — the first draft of which he calls the “straw man” plan — to go into effect by July 1, 2018.

Montemagno has said he is interested in feedback from faculty, students and community members.


A draft of where specific programs will be placed under the new system is expected to be released at 2 p.m. Thursday during an open forum in the Student Center Auditorium. 

“He mentioned that 42 departments are going to be eliminated in this restructure,” said Bowens, who also met with the chancellor to discuss changes.

No programs will be eliminated as a result of the restructuring, Montemagno said.

Additionally, Bowens said the chancellor wants to implement a university-wide “honor system,” in which students will have to sign an honor code when they first enter the school system.

Bowens said Montemagno believes this will allow students to be more independent and will allow professors to trust students to not be academically dishonest, such as not cheating on tests.

Some USG senators questioned the idea when it was presented to them on Tuesday night, saying an honor code would be more efficient as an updated part of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Code.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to update that code — that we are still forced to live by — instead of having to start from scratch?” said Brandon Kyles, a senator and senior from Chicago studying journalism.

Buice said “it still up in the air” as to whether the honor code will replace or be supplemental to the current Student Rights and Responsibilities Code.

Staff writer Cory Ray can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @coryray_de.

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