Daily Egyptian

Two faculty-proposed colleges created as counter-proposals to the chancellor’s reorganization plan

By Anna Spoerre, Staff Reporter

Two college counter-proposals have been created by various departments across campus in response to those outlined in the chancellor’s academic reorganization plan.

A College of Social Sciences and Humanities and a College of Communication, Design and the Arts were introduced to Chancellor Carlo Montemagno and the Board of Trustees during the public comments section of the Wednesday’s board meeting.

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities would include Africana studies, anthropology, economics, English, history, languages, cultures, and international trade, linguistics, philosophy, political science, sociology and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

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The tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty of the departments involved in the college of Social Sciences and Humanities proposal voted 83-5 in favor of the college prior to Thursday’s SIU Board of Trustees meeting.

In a separate vote, faculty in women, gender, and sexuality studies voted 26-0 in favor of joining the college, said Jennifer Smith, interim chair of languages, cultures and international trade.

The College of Communication, Design and the Arts proposal is undergoing final edits by faculty. Anne Fletcher, a faculty member in theater, said the proposal will likely be ready to send to the provost following faculty votes before the July Board of Trustees meeting.

This college would combine the schools of art and design, architecture, music, cinema and photography, communication studies and journalism, and the departments of theater and radio television and digital media.

Provost Meera Komarraju confirmed she received the College of Social Sciences and Humanities proposal and said she welcomes both proposals and will follow-up with faculty once each is reviewed.

Fletcher, a member of the writing committee made up of two representatives from each involved department, said the most positive part of grappling with the restructuring was seeing the faculty bring their own ideas to the table to form the proposal.

“I think this is kind of miraculous that all these departments can work together united, and I’ve been particularly touched by the concern for each other that has been expressed across the departments,” Fletcher said.

Two main difference exist between the faculty-proposed colleges and the chancellor’s, Fletcher and Smith said: departments and chair positions would remain intact and departmental operating papers wouldn’t need to be rewritten.

Robert A. Lopez, interim director of the school of art and design, said a bottom-up proposal such as this made sense because faculty best know their department’s curriculum, culture and atmosphere.

“We’re here, we love it, we know what we’re doing, we want to help and we want to make something successful for our students and ourselves,” he said.

And while Lopez said he personally isn’t in direct opposition of the chancellor’s proposal, this provides an opportunity to collaborate with a group of faculty to make something genuinely great on campus.

“I am inspired because so many people have this perception of faculty sitting in their ivory towers with their leisurely jobs, but people in our units have had to fight really really hard for our programs,” Smith said. “We’ve had to put our time where our mouth is and a lot of us are showing that we really do fight for what we believe.”

Staff writer Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected]m or on Twitter @annaspoerre.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Two faculty-proposed colleges created as counter-proposals to the chancellor’s reorganization plan”

  1. Victor White on April 17th, 2018 7:57 pm

    Finally, some of the Faculty at SIUC are doing something that is positive and constructive by developing and voting for the two proposed colleges that seem to make sense from a faculty and student perspective. Kudos to the faculty involved with this process.

  2. Cully Perlman on April 18th, 2018 8:19 am

    Anything that helps SIU thrive and discards the chancellor’s bad recommendations is a good thing.

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