New Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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ST_Lawson
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:58 am

In this morning's BOT meeting, they approved the creation of a new Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences (needs to be approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Ed before it's official though). I don't know exactly what all it's going to encompass, but I believe that the plan is to roll together departments like African American Studies and Women's Studies into one department. This should allow them to save costs by having fewer administrative staff (directors, secretaries, advisors, etc.) while still keeping most of the courses available. Students in those programs would then earn a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a focus in African American Studies or Women's Studies.

There is currently a Liberal Arts and Sciences degree available, but it's not it's own separate department currently: http://www.wiu.edu/academics/majors/art ... iences.php
And currently has "Emphases" in Multidisciplinary Studies, Environment Studies, Peace Corps, or Paired Minor (two minor programs).

I'll try to get more details and let you all know.
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sealhall74
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:55 am

I would move those two programs into the Department of Sociology and call it a good day. :lol:
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leatherface
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:58 pm

I agree. Why create a new department for programs that are not popular and have few students. I guess a way to "legitimize" this area of non interest by incoming students. Yes, add to a current area-or, give the general degree ( can't think of what it's called) that is a general studies degree and add these as a concentration area of study. Silly to start a new department IMHO
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leatherface
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:23 pm

Additionally, since there is already a Liberal Arts and Science degree/department, isn't this going to be confusing to call this a Liberal Arts and Science area too? Will this save some tenured instructors to do it this way- create a department?
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ST_Lawson
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Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:43 pm

Bit of clarification...essentially they're taking what the existing Liberal Arts and Sciences stuff encompasses, and just rolling some of those other programs into it. It's not really creating a new "Department" it's more just giving it the official Department designation (allows them to do some additional things regarding degrees, I think). I don't believe this will allow them to hire back any of the faculty, but it will save administrative costs since they currently have/had directors, advisors, and secretaries/administrative assistants for each of:
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Women's Studies
African American Studies

But now they'll have one director, one advisor (or at least, fewer advisors), and fewer administrative staff. So, while it sounds like they're "creating a new department"...really they're just modifying an existing thing that is all but technically a "department" into an actual "department" and cutting positions. Saves money and allows them to not completely eliminate the courses from those areas (although a lot of the courses in those programs are actually just courses from other areas...like, when I was in Broadcasting, I took "Mass Media and Minorities" and I could have taken "Women and Film/Television" if I'd wanted to. Those are both Broadcasting classes taught by Broadcasting professors, but also can be taken by students for African American Studies or Women's Studies).
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