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Reorganization of SEHD proposed

By : Katie Ellis

The University is considering a proposal to reorganize the School of Education and Human Development, creating a School of Education and an as yet unnamed school to encompass the human development, social work and public administration programs.

The proposal by Provost Mary Ann Swain has the endorsement of the president.

“The goals of this proposal strengthen the Univeristy, as well as the specific fields involved,” said President Lois B. DeFleur. “The idea of developing additional schools and programs allows us to implement a major tenet of our strategic plan.”

Swain presented the proposal to SEHD faculty and staff last week. “I think this proposal really affords the University an opportunity to strengthen what it is we’re doing in relation to K-12 education,” said Swain. “It will also allow us to increase engagement in outreach. We’re proposing creating a school whose central focus is exactly that.

“The input I received from faculty was very valuable and informative in terms of thinking about how to best support all of the programs currently housed in SEHD,” Swain added.

The School of Education will continue its mission to prepare teachers, leaders and administrators, and to research how students learn, especially in the context of organized schools. Social work, human development and the master’s in public administration program would be combined into a new school or college as a consortium aimed at improving public sector life and public sector contributions to the health and welfare of communities and individuals. The school will be nationally recognized for the quality of its preparation of com-munity leaders and public sector admini-strators and for its research into effective community organization, sustainable community development and demonstrably beneficial social services delivery. The provost is open to naming possibilities for this school. The school’s name must be flexible, with the ability to encompass current programs and incorporate future programs. It must also be descriptive to external audiences, consonant with the strategic plan, succinct and contain no odd acronym.

The establishment or elimination of any academic unit requires review by the Faculty Senate. Ross Geoghegan, professor of mathematics and Faculty Senate chair, said the senate leadership has agreed to proceed with the proposal as quickly as possible, very early in the fall semester.

“There will be much discussion about the details of the proposal,” he said. “There are important issues that need to be carefully thought about and discussed.”

In her meetings with individuals and school-wide, Swain answered questions that pertained primarily to matters of timing and details about the reorganization. She said there are a large number of logistical matters to handle if the University were to create two new schools. “We will have to change all of our decision support systems, separate the budgets, alter recruiting materials and so forth. These activities will take place over the next year,” she said.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08