Corrigan proposes new structure for college merger

In an email to faculty and staff on March 21, President Robert A. Corrigan announced a new proposal for the reorganization of SF State’s eight colleges.

The six-college structure recommended by the University Planning Advisory Council remains intact, but the new proposal differs in where it places departments, and has the potential for additional costs savings, the email said.

“(The new proposal) differs from the one favored in the referendum in that it doubles the dollar amount of administrative savings,” said University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin.

The new proposal aims to increase costs savings from $1 to 2 million.

Elements of the old proposal, which faculty voted on in February, remain the same, such as the dissolution of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services.

But the new plan, which was approved unanimously by UPAC, would create a College of Arts and Humanities and a College of Social and Health Sciences to absorb departments from the dissolved colleges.

Also under the new proposal, the College of Education will remain the same, instead of being reduced to a freestanding school.  The College of Creative Arts will be reduced to a School of the Arts housed within the College of Arts and Humanities.

The new proposal stemmed from further consultation between departments and UPAC, as well as discussions of collaboration among disciplines to streamline costs, the email said.

Faculty in BSS were concerned that the old proposal, which placed many BSS departments into a College of Liberal Arts, would dilute the scientific aspects of their curricula.

“A College of Liberal Arts doesn’t take into account the methods involved in disciplines like sociology,” said Andreana Clay, associate professor in the sociology department. “I’m not in favor of the University restructuring as it is, but we’re doing with it what we can.”

The president has asked the Academic Senate to conduct another faculty referendum for the new proposal, and staff members are encouraged to voice their opinions online, the email said.

“Everything is still subject to change,” said Maxine Chernoff, chair of the creative writing department, which is housed in the College of Humanities and would be designated to the College of Arts and Humanities.

“I think it’s fine as long as the departments have had their input and their identities stay intact,” she said.  “People should be satisfied with where their department ends up.”

The new proposal also creates a School of Public Affairs/Public Policy within the College of Social and Health Sciences.

UPAC hopes to have the reorganization finalized by July 1, which is the beginning of the next fiscal year, Chernoff said.

Students have yet to be consulted about the proposed reorganization of the University, leaving some confused and upset.  One student did sit on UPAC, but graduated in May 2010.

“(UPAC) should inform the students on any talks of transformation,” said Mia Hunt, a 24-year-old theatre arts major.  “We are paying to be educated, and I don’t understand why it’s okay not to inform us.”

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