Faculty Senate Approves Transformation Plan Mergers, Closures

Faculty Senate Approves Transformation Plan Mergers, Closures

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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Photo of UA seal by Scott Kirkessner
Photo of UA seal by Scott Kirkessner

The University of Arizona's Transformation Plan moved a step forward Monday when the Faculty Senate voted to approve several proposed changes to academic organizational units and academic programs, including mergers, closures and renamings.

The changes, slated to go into effect for the 2009-2010 school year, must now go before the Arizona Board of Regents, said Gail Burd, vice provost for academic affairs.

At Monday's senate meeting, Provost Meredith Hay thanked faculty, department heads, deans and staff for their work on the Transformation Plan, which is intended to reorganize and streamline University operations for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness.

"I'm extremely proud of every one of you," Hay said. "I think we've come together even closer as a family at The University of Arizona and how we strategically reposition ourselves to be stronger than ever is the outcome of this process and the outcome of your work with faculty and with students and staff."

None of the parties involved in the proposed reorganizations voted on by the senate have requested financial support in order to make the changes, Burd said. 

The senate approved the proposed unit changes in a near-unanimous single vote and the proposed program changes in a second single vote, with a few exceptions. Proposals to eliminate a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education, to eliminate a doctorate degree in French, to transfer a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies from University College to the newly created Colleges of Letters, Art and Science, and  to create a School of Anthropology, which would effectively transfer 5.5 professors from the College of Humanities' department of classics to the new school, were examined and passed separately at senators' requests for further discussion.

The approved academic unit reorganization would establish nine new schools and three new departments and allow for changes – such as moves, mergers or renamings – of 11 existing units.

The senate voted only on proposed changes that have already received a greater than 75 percent favorable vote by the affected units and faculty. The senate elected to delay voting on the creation of a School of Mathematical Sciences because affected units and faculty had not yet voted on the change.

Changes approved by the senate include the creation of the following schools and departments:

  • School of Anthropology
  • School of Geography and Development
  • School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • School of Information Sciences, Technology and Arts
  • School of Government and Public Policy
  • School of Mind, Brain and Behavior
  • School of Earth and Environmental Science
  • School for Sustainable Engineered Systems
  • School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Department of Mexican American and Raza Studies

Approved changes to existing academic units included:

  • Renaming the department of plant sciences the School of Plant Sciences
  • Merging the departments of chemistry with the department of biochemistry to create a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Merging the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology with the School of Counseling to create a Department of Psychoeducational and Disability Studies
  • Merging the Department of Educational Leadership and the Center for Higher Education to create a Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice
  • Merging the Department of Teaching and Teacher Education with the Department of Language, Reading and Culture to create a Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies
  • Transferring the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources from the College of Engineering to the College of Science
  • Changing the name of the Department of Women's Studies to the Department of Gender and Women's Studies

The Senate also voted on proposed changes – such as mergers, renamings or transfers – to several existing academic degree programs, including the elimination of the following 19 programs, which have been identified as low degree producing, according to ABOR guidelines.

Bachelor of Science in:

  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Physical Education
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Health and Human Services Administration
  • Engineering Math
  • Engineering Physics

Bachelor of Arts in: 

  • Secondary Education
  • Engineering

Bachelor of Fine Arts in:

  • Theatre Arts Education 

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in:

  •  Health Education

Master of Science in:

  • Genetic Counseling
  • Reliability and Quality Engineering

Master of Arts in:

  • Bilingual/Multicultural Education

Master of Education in:  

  • Bilingual/Bicultural Education
  • Professional Science Master's Degree in:
  • Mathematical Sciences

Doctorate in:

  • French

Doctor of Education in:

  • Teaching and Teacher Education
  •  Rehabilitation Counseling

Educational specialist in:

  • Special Education

Students that are current majors making satisfactory progress toward a degree slated for elimination would be allowed to complete it, according to an amendment proposed and approved by the senate prior to the vote on program changes.

Detailed information on the proposed UA academic reorganization is not yet available for viewing online but is expected to be posted on the Transformation Web site after the next ABOR meeting, which takes place on the UA campus April 30-May 1.

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