UW University Reorganization Gets Trustee Approval
The University of Wyoming announced last week that a major reorganization of the university’s academic programs would take place as directed by the university administration, following votes of support Thursday by the board of trustees of the university. ‘UW.
After months of development informed by in-depth review and input from internal and external stakeholders, the Board of Trustees has approved plans to set in motion changes that will position the university for a vibrant future in an era of uncertain revenues. state, economic changes and a changing higher education landscape. Some changes will come into effect by the end of this fiscal year; others will not be fully implemented until July 1, 2023.
“We appreciate the board’s support for our vision for UW, and we are ready to move forward with these changes and work with our various stakeholders to make it the best university possible,” said UW President Ed Seidel. “I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the University of Wyoming.”
The board voted in favor of a proposal by Seidel and Provost and executive vice president Kevin Carman to reorganize the colleges of arts and sciences, agriculture and natural resources, and engineering and applied sciences in order to better align the life and physical sciences, and the human, social and artistic sciences. This will involve the movement of several academic departments and possibly the renaming of colleges. The changes will be made no later than July 1, 2023, in conjunction with a strategic planning process that involves more discussions with relevant units and their stakeholders.
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“This process will allow us to ensure that the reorganization positions the university for a prosperous future,” said Carman. “We will have a solid discussion over the next year to carefully consider optimal alignments while minimizing the unintended negative consequences of restructuring.”
The Board of Trustees also approved a reorganization of the College of Education effective July 1, 2022. The college will have three divisions: one focused on educator preparation; one for graduate studies; and one for innovation and commitment. Registration will be suspended for two graduate programs – the doctorate. in counseling and the doctorate. in learning, design and technology – while discussions take place as to how they can be continued in the revamped college.
Trustees voted to eliminate these low enrollment graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Philosophy, the MBA in Finance, the MBA in Energy, and the Doctorate. in statistics.
The other action of the council was to enable a discussion over the next year regarding the movement of the Human Development and Family Sciences, and Design, Merchandising and Textiles programs, currently at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. , with a final recommendation to the board in January 2023.
The administration plans to move forward with these changes by July 1, 2022:
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- Consolidation of the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
- Consolidation of the Bachelor Program in Agricultural Communication with the Department of Communication and Journalism.
- Movement from the American Studies program to the School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice.
Among the changes planned no later than July 1, 2023, pending further refinement:
- Transfer of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and consolidation of this department with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
- Movement of other departments of physical sciences – chemistry, geology and geophysics, and mathematics and statistics – from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
- Transfer of the Department of Zoology and Physiology, Department of Botany and Life Sciences Program from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Work will be carried out to determine the optimal structure of the consolidated program and to consider alternative placement of life sciences professors with discipline-specific expertise that aligns better with other academic units, such as those of the College of Health Sciences.
- Restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences to focus on the humanities, social sciences and the arts. With the additional time, work will be carried out to, among other things: possibly launch a doctorate. program in English; explore opportunities for further doctorates. programs; and explore partnerships with the planned computer school.
- Transfer of the nutrition program to the Kinesiology and Health Division of the College of Health Sciences.
- Transfer of the Early Childhood Education and Reception Center to the Education College.
- Although the proposed reorganizations were motivated, in part, by budgetary considerations, the projected savings – about $ 2 million per year – will not meet the reductions needed to respond to declining public funding and reallocate resources to new ones. new initiatives. These include the establishment of a computer school, a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality (WORTH) initiative, which are part part of the new Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) involving UW and the state community colleges.
As a result, in collaboration with the deans of UW colleges, the Office of Academic Affairs separately developed a budget reduction plan that cuts university programs by $ 5.3 million, including the elimination of 20 to 25 professorships which have been freed by resignations and retirements. Additional proposed reductions and revenue improvements that will be refined during UW’s regular budget process for the coming fiscal year include the effectiveness of academic policies, consolidation of auxiliary units, and reduction in travel and supplies for staff. employees.
“We are pleased that we were able to meet our budget goals without eliminating the faculty positions currently filled, and our deans are focused on making strategic decisions to position their colleges to better serve our students and the state,” said Seidel. “We are excited to move forward with our plans to improve the student experience and help grow and diversify the state’s economy. “
A proposal to launch the School of Computing – which will go through the regular review process involving the Faculty’s Senate – is expected to be submitted to the Board of Trustees in January.
A number of degree programs initially intended to be discontinued will be maintained under the provost’s plan: bachelor’s degrees in German and French, as well as in secondary education in Spanish, German and French; master’s degree in political science, international studies, sociology and architectural engineering; graduate degrees in entomology; and the master’s degree in family and consumer sciences, pending a possible reorganization of this department.