Strategic Reorganization of Academic Colleges, Departments Announced
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 3, 2010) - A reorganization of academic colleges and departments designed to provide a stronger, more viable educational experience for students, while also cutting operating costs for Fiscal Year 2012 has been announced by University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose.
“This is an essential component of our new strategic resource model, which is going to give us a clear focus on meeting immediate fiscal challenges within our state and across higher education, while also providing us with tools that allow us to better serve our students in the future,” Ambrose said. “I appreciate the countless hours that our deans, department chairs and many of our administrators have contributed to creating this reorganization plan, and I am confident it will have long-term benefits for UCM.”
UCM Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs George Wilson said the new structure will become effective July 1, 2011, and save the institution an estimated $612,000 for the next fiscal year. It will move the institution from a five-college system with 33 academic departments to a system that comprises four colleges and 25 departments. The plan provides for combining departments, clustering some departments into schools, and reducing the number of academic department chairs by eight.
Wilson said that in addition to cost-savings, the plan for restructuring will “promote the positive interaction of faculty and mutually-supported academic programs while also highlighting academic program strength and promoting public recognition of high-quality UCM programs.” He emphasized the restructuring allows the university to make significant and effective administrative change without adversely affecting students who are currently enrolled in degree programs.
“Although the plan retains many of the existing college and department structures, there is a net reduction of one college and eight academic departments, which will result in a base-budget savings generated by the reorganization,” Wilson said.
Many of the programs that are currently in the College of Health and Human Services will become part of the newly named College of Health, Science and Technology, formerly College of Science and Technology (CST). Under the new structure, Rick Sluder, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, will serve as associate provost for enrollment management.
“We’re pleased that Dr. Sluder will be assuming a leadership role within our enrollment management area. While he brings great enthusiasm and energy to his new responsibilities, we know the university will benefit from his experience, which served the College of Health and Human Services so effectively,” Wilson said.
As dean, Sluder oversaw the fastest growing college, which not only had the largest number of UCM graduates, but was a leader in online education. He joined the university in 1992 as a faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice, and after serving for four years as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services, was named dean of the College of Health and Human Services, following a reorganization from four colleges to five in 2007. The other three colleges will be the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, College of Education, and Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies, which is currently known as the Harmon College of Business Administration.
Wilson said deans will begin working with faculty in newly created or modified departments, as necessary, to select a department chair in accordance with the university’s Faculty Guide. Once selected, department chairs will work with the Office of Human Resources to identify the person who will serve new departments as office professionals. He noted that the administrative restructuring reduces the number of office professionals employed in academic units by seven, however, the university will take steps to help find jobs on campus for those employees which have been displaced. Deans will meet with office professionals who might be displayed by the reorganization to inform them of alternative employment opportunities and assist them with securing other positions within the university.