Daily Egyptian

Chancellor proposes third revision of university reorganization

By Amelia Blakely

During a special Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Chancellor Carlo Montemagno presented his third revision of the university’s reorganization.

Altogether the reorganization will move eight colleges into five colleges, and 42 departments into 20 schools.

The plan includes: The college of social sciences, humanities, media and arts; the college of science, technology, transportation, engineering, and mathematics, the college of medicine, the college of law, the college of education, the college of health and human services, the college of business and analysis, and the college of agricultural and life sciences.

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Montemagno said a degree from the university used to be a distinct and comprehensive four-year educational degree.

Currently, Montemagno said the university provides a basic degree that makes it hard to attract students.

“We have to bring that value back,” Montemagno said.

Chancellor Montemagno projected next year’s freshman class enrollment number will again, decrease from a current 1,319 freshman to 918 new freshman.

“Things aren’t getting better,” Montemagno said. “It’s quite scary.”

In contrast to the speed Montemagno wishes to implement these changes he said that the reorganization alone will not increase enrollment.

To increase student enrollment, Montemagno a combination of changes to the university will need to take place, including the reorganization and revitalizing student activities and life on campus.

After his presentation, student trustee, Sam Beard, asked what Montemagno’s response was to the three major student constituency bodies opposing the proposed elimination of all departments and department chairs.

Montemagno said the removal of departments will not affect students. He said the administrative duties held currently by department chairs would be passed down to a faculty member who accepts the responsibilities.

The only difference from this change is there will be no administrative position, Montemagno said. However, the administrative duties will still be executed.

This change requires faculty to own their program, rather work for their program.

“When you own your program, it’s like owning your own business,” Montemagno said. “You do a lot more to ensure the success of your business.”

Montemagno said the goal of this change to have faculty own their academic programs to enhance shared governance from the administration level to the classroom.

Montemagno’s defense of the proposed elimination of departments and department chairs when questioned caused confusion to some of the faculty members in the meeting.

David Johnson, president of the Faculty Association, called the reorganization chaotic and confusing.

Prior the meeting, Johnson said he was under the impression a school director would take on the department chair role. As stated before, a faculty member would absorb responsibilities.

“The chancellor showed today he is not entirely clear himself how the workload is going to be readjusted,” Johnson said. “He appears to be confused about how his school model is going to work. If he is confused, there’s no wonder the rest of us are confused.”

Johnson said department chairs are like managers, and their role and responsibilities are vastly different from that of a faculty member. For example, administrators make decisions that faculty don’t have the authority to do so.

“He’s not clear who’s going to do this work, with what type of authority, and what kind of time to do it,” Johnson said.

Additionally, vice-chancellor Judy Marshall proposed tuition increases for the academic year of 2018-2019.

Out of three scenarios presented, Marshall proposed the two percent increase in undergraduate tuition rates.

Marshall said this year undergraduate tuition raised by almost four percent, equaling to $315 dollars per credit hour for new freshman and undergraduate transfer students.

According to state tuition laws, the university is required to charge undergraduates the same tuition rate given when first enrolled.

Staff writer Amelia Blakely can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AmeilaBlakely.

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