Program change proposals for academic reorganization released

By Marnie Leonard

University administration released program change proposals for the chancellor’s plan to reorganize campus academic units Friday, according to the Faculty Association website.

FA President David Johnson wrote on the website that the major changes included the new proposals, sent to him by Associate Provost David DiLalla, include moving the School of Homeland Security into the renamed College of Social Sciences, Humanities, Media and Arts, moving the zoology program from the School of Sustainability to the School of Biological Sciences and moving political science from social science to homeland security.

Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s reorganization plan reduces SIU’s current eight colleges to five, which are further broken down into 16 schools. Among the more controversial aspects of the academic shakeup is the elimination of departments and departmental chairs. 


The first draft was released in October during a public forum, and the second draft with campus-wide input is slated to come out Nov. 17. 

Though departments are still being eliminated under these proposals, Johnson said “they will now live a sort of afterlife as ‘divisions,’” or bodies within schools that contain multiple programs.

“There is also more language about possible compensation for division coordinators,” Johnson said on the website. “But the basic thrust of the plan remains, as these ‘divisions’ will not have autonomy over matters including operating papers, curriculum, fiscal matters, workload or tenure.”

Under the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will be the School of Biological Sciences, School of Agricultural Sciences and School of Sustainability and Earth Science. The College of Business will house the School Accountancy and Finance and the School of Management and Marketing.

The College of Engineering, Physical Science and Applied Technology contains the School of Engineering, School of Transportation and Applied Technology and the School of Computer and Physical Sciences.The College of Health and Human Services holds the School of Health Services and the School of Human Services

Finally, the College of Social Sciences, Humanities, Media and Arts contains the School of Social Science and Multicultural Studies, the School of Humanities, the School of Homeland Security, School of Architecture Art and Design and the School of Media and Performing Arts. The School of Education is freestanding.

Each of the 16 new schools has a separate document laying out changes under the new structure. These papers detail which departments will be housed under which school, each school’s organizational structure and the potential impact of the change on faculty and students.


Each paper also looks at financial savings of the reorganization, which Montemagno has said will spare SIU a permanent $2.3 million due to the “elimination of administrative positions, including a reduction in the number of dean positions” and the elimination of all chair positions, according to the new draft.   

Each program change proposal also includes a comparison to similar programs at peer universities, but Johnson said these sections do not detail universities that have adopted the school model in general.

“Nor do they regularly provide models for the individual schools in question,” Johnson said. “We are entering terra incognita.”

Other programmatic changes in the newly-released proposals include:

  • The physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience programs will not be housed in, but “affiliated” with the School of Biological Sciences, and existing faculty will keep their tenure in the School of Medicine. New hires in those areas may be in the new school rather than the School of Medicine, Johnson said on the FA website.
  • Paralegal studies and “programs in pre-law” are also being moved from social sciences to the School Homeland Security. SIU does not have a “free-standing pre-law major,” Johnson said, so it remains unclear what this means. Johnson said it could mean “all pre-law specializations in majors outside the boundaries of divisions in Homeland Security” could be eliminated.
  • The electronic systems technology program, which was not mentioned in previous iterations of the reorganization, is now housed in the School of Homeland Security.
  • The police academy does not appear in the new program proposals. Johnson said this could signify that the state — “or Western Illinois University, which has a highly regarded program in this area” —objected to SIU creating such a program.
  • Africana studies will be kept in the School of Social Science and Multicultural Studies.
  • Linguistics, which was previously placed with the humanities, will be moved to the School of Social Science and Multicultural Studies.
  • These minor and certificate programs will reside in the School of Social Science and Multicultural Studies: Latino and Latin American studies, Native American studies, peace studies and women, gender and sexuality studies.

For more information on the specific programs included under each school, check the Faculty Association website. 

Campus editor Marnie Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @marsuzleo.

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