Social work major saved in reorganization of A&S
The college planning committee for the College of Arts and Sciences has approved Dean Marbach’s proposal for the reorganization of the college, according to Manfred Minimair, chair of the committee and associate professor in the department of mathematics and computer science.
“(The committee) will present its full review at the special meeting of the college this Friday where the whole faculty will deliberate further on the dean’s proposal,” Minimair said in an e-mail interview.
The committee met on Wednesday to discuss Marbach’s reorganization plan, which he proposed due to the request for a 5.1 percent budget cut from the provost’s office for the next fiscal year, as written in last week’s Setonian.
The committee’s approval of the plan moves it one step closer to being enacted.
The plan for reorganization, published in last week’s Setonian, was officially presented to the College of Arts and Science’s faculty on April 16 at the arts and sciences faculty committee meeting.
The plan remains mostly the same, except the college will continue to offer a B.A. offering in social work, which Marbach originally proposed to phase out. In addition, the committee suggested a new department of Catholic Studies be added to the reorganization proposal.
According to Marbach, the change in social work was made because the accreditation for the department of social work was extended a year.
Marbach said the dean’s office would revisit the issue in one or two years.
The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences will vote on the proposal in a special meeting on April 23.
Some faculty wanted more time to discuss the proposal before voting on it, including Roseanne Mirabella, an associate professor of political science and the director of the university core curriculum.
Mirabella originally requested the vote be postponed until June 15, so the faculty would have time to discuss the proposal at a retreat.
“Rather than a shotgun wedding, we might have time for a courtship,” Mirabella said.
Marbach, however, said time was of the essence in this case as the budget was due on April 30 and if the faculty decided to postpone the vote, the provost’s office could implement their own plan for budget cuts, which Marbach felt could be worse for the college.
Other professors also expressed concern, including W. King Mott, an associate professor of political science. Mott said his department had its first meeting on the proposal earlier in the day and felt the faculty needed more time to make the best and most informed decision possible.
“I know this is a great concern,” Marbach said. “We will face problems.
We’ll seek to address these problems as quickly and expeditiously as possible.”
Mirabella made a motion to move the vote on the restructuring proposal to May 15 and asked Marbach to request an extension on the budget proposal.
Marbach agreed to ask the provost for an extension, but urged the faculty not to postpone the vote.
“Please do not tie my hands this way by voting on this measure,” Marbach said.
Some professors also spoke in favor of keeping the vote on the restructuring proposal on April 23, including Peter Reader, chair of the department of communication and associate professor of communication and Patricia Kuchon, an associate professor of communication, a department that would be affected by the restructuring proposal.
The motion was voted against unanimously, leaving the vote on its original date.
Caitlin Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.