Senate considering department merger

A reorganization that merges two departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was introduced at the Jan. 19 Faculty Senate meeting. Senators will vote next month on a proposal to combine the anthropology and world languages and cultures departments.

Discussions about a merger began among faculty in late 2014, with unanimous approval from faculty in both departments in December 2015. If approved, the department would retain the world languages and cultures (WLC) name, effective July 1. According to the planning document, anthropology would become a WLC program, and personnel and equipment will transition to Pearson Hall as space becomes available.

On the horizon

Senate president Rob Wallace said faculty working groups have been or will be formed to study several topics, including:

  • A committee to conduct an annual review of an administrative office; this year it is the senior vice president for business and finance (chaired by Distinguished Professor emeritus John Schuh)
  • A task force on enrollment management, which will look at issues such as program enrollment limits, the regents admission index and differential tuition (chaired by president-elect Jonathan Sturm; report due by June to President Steven Leath)
  • A task force on non-tenure eligible faculty issues, such as position descriptions, career paths and review procedures

Other business

  • Tim Day, professor of biomedical sciences, won a two-person ballot to become the 2016-17 senate president-elect. Day and current president-elect Jonathan Sturm (music) will assume their new posts at the May 3 meeting.
  • Sarah Nusser, vice president for research, presented an update on the research mission. She said grant proposal counts were up 12 percent in fiscal year 2015 and are up 10 percent this year.