Academic departments face change

Posted on 08 February 2017 by Ian Schrauth

STLCC plans to reorder academic departments

By: Stephen Buechter
Staff Writer

St. Louis Community College has created plans to undergo restructuring, with an early version of the plan completed.

The plan rearranges departments under specific deans across each campus, and is intended to allow for deans to more easily communicate questions and concerns regarding their similar programs in their departments.classroom

“[The plan] reallocates what departments potentially could fall under what dean, and… we’re kinda test driving that with the faculty and staff on different campuses so we can see if other folks can see if this will work or not,” restructuring committee member Michael Burke said.

He said that the plan would keep the same number of deans, but would follow a model that the Missouri Department of Higher Education uses to identify different career pathways to increase intercampus consistency in which deans are responsible for which department.

“We’re trying to find out whether this would work or not, and I think that folks are going to try to figure out where they fit into this model, how much moving around we have to do,” Burke said.

The structure would cause changes to the current division of departments between deans.

“[With] our current dean structure, we have three deans on our campus,” Burke said.

That wouldn’t change in this model.

What each dean is responsible for, that might change a little bit, and in some cases it would change a relatively large amount, but they would still be supervising about the same number of faculty members….

For the faculty, their department might have to report to a different dean than it does now.” Burke said that the changes should not cause any major troublesome effect to anyone on campus.

However, the same people may not be in the position of dean at each campus.

Burke said that the intended benefit to students from the changes would include more consistent handling of student complaints between campuses and for simpler communication between deans from different campuses.

Burke said that the process could take up to a year to be fully completed and has been in the works for a few years.

“They’ve been playing with the idea of reorganizing for a few years now, and I think some of my frustration and some of the comments from some of the other faculty too is that we sort of want to just get it in place already, because while we keep sitting around and rearranging all the chairs nothing’s really getting done,” Paralegal Legal Studies Program Coordinator Barbara Wiseheart said.

Wiseheart said the idea of the new system had more consistency.

She also said that the campuses of STLCC are never going to be mirror images, so part of the struggle is figuring out what to do with the more unique programs offered by STLCC.

“I think that some of the things that are more divided out could use a little bit of concentration, but again, I’d like to see more of the energy be placed more into the implementing than the rearranging,” Wiseheart said.

 

 

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