Northern Iowa Student Government

University of Northern Iowa announces first round of reorganization plans

By: Student on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 13:37

University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen today announced the first round of a series of realignments of administrative and academic units at the university. According to Allen these changes will help the university more effectively meet the needs of students and respond to the realities of the state budget.

"Several years of reductions in state appropriations have severely affected our ability to maintain our current organizational structure," said Allen. "We've been developing strategies to help reduce expenses and increase revenue. Some of those strategies can go into effect immediately, while others will take more time."

With that in mind, pending Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approval, Allen intends to reduce the number of the university's administrative divisions from four to three. Effective July 1, 2010 UNI's Marketing & Advancement Division will be dissolved, eliminating one university vice president position.

The Marketing & Advancement Division is comprised of the Offices of University Marketing & Public Relations; University Development, which includes the UNI Foundation; and Alumni Relations, which includes the UNI Alumni Association. Bill Calhoun, current UNI vice president and president of the UNI Foundation, will remain as president of the UNI Foundation and will continue to report to Allen. University Development and Alumni Relations will continue to report to Calhoun. University Marketing & Public Relations, led by James O'Connor, assistant vice president for marketing and public relations, will now report to Allen.

"On the academic side, Executive Vice President and Provost Gloria Gibson has recommended combining UNI's Colleges of Humanities & Fine Arts (CHFA) and Natural Sciences (CNS), Allen said. "I strongly support this plan. It will have a positive impact and provide opportunities to improve student learning, efficiency and effectiveness."

 This move would mark the first time colleges have been combined at UNI.

"Combining these colleges will strengthen the academic offerings of the combined college and will help reduce administrative expenses," Gibson said. "CHFA currently doesn't have a dean. Given that fact, and that these two colleges provide the vast majority of our liberal arts core courses, the time is right to bring these colleges together with the goal of developing new, integrated programs that will serve the needs of our students and the state."

Gibson will appoint a committee of faculty, staff and students that will develop specific plans to carryout the reorganization. Consolidation of the two colleges is to be complete by June 30, 2011.

Joel Haack, current CNS dean, will be the inaugural dean of the new college. Haack will lead the transition team, as well as serve as CHFA dean until the new college is up and running.

Students enrolled in programs in the two existing colleges will be able to continue course work toward their degrees.

Along with the college consolidation, Gibson intends to combine the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Modern Languages. Samuel Gladden, associate professor of English will be appointed acting head of the Department of Modern Languages. He and Jeffrey Copeland, head of the Department of English Language and Literature, will lead a transition team charged with developing plans for a new, integrated department.

The college and department consolidation plans will require approval by the Board of Regents.