The proposed merger of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Natural Sciences was announced in January of 2010, in addition to other reorganization plans at UNI. Because the two colleges provided the vast majority of UNI's liberal arts core courses, the time was right to bring the colleges together with the goal of developing new, integrated programs to serve the needs of UNI students and the state, according to UNI Provost Gloria Gibson. "At the heart of the merger is the belief that from two colleges can emerge a strong, innovative and creative unit," Gibson stated.
The merger became effective on July 1, 2011. During the three-semester transition period, a number of work groups, consisting of faculty from each of the colleges, formulated recommendations on topics ranging from curriculum to technology. The faculty from each college's senate came together to determine the function of the new combined senate through the creation of new bylaws. The draft of the CHAS Faculty Senate Bylaws will be on the voting docket for future meetings.