Building on Excellence charges the institution to transform itself into a University whose organizational
structures are strategically arranged so as to facilitate excellence in teaching and
learning (Academics Objective 2.1; pg. 10). Additionally, the plan calls for a review
of existing organizational structures to ensure they are strategically aligned to
facilitate excellence in all areas of University operations and to support the University's
mission (Sustainability Objective 2.1; pg. 20). The senior administration of Academic
Affairs recognizes that the current structure of the division is not sustainable in
terms of the allocation of both administrative support and administrative complexity.
In addition, it is not clear that the current structure is facilitating pedagogical
synergy as well as it could. In that context, a reorganization conversation that began
in one college, CAS, expanded to thinking about all of the academic colleges.
The senior leadership of the Academic Affairs division is committed to ensuring all
of our resources, including human and financial, facilitate excellence in teaching
and learning. To that end, we envision this reorganization as the creation of new
colleges, not the absorbing of some departments into existing colleges. In this sense,
we are committed to ensuring that what a faculty member experiences at WCU is not
strictly tied to the SCH production of a particular college, but rather, that all
faculty can have equitable support of their teaching and their professional development
and that the reorganization does not diminish faculty resources.
Small group members: Deans’ Council (Linda Adams, Laurie Bernotsky, Tim Blair, Jeff Osgood, Michelle
Patrick, Lori Vermeulen, Ken Witmer), Jen Bacon, Page Buck, Kevin Dean, Mark Rimple,
Harvey Rovine, Jack Waber
Forums/Small Group Meeting Update
- In October, seven open forums were held and feedback was collected there and through
- The small group (described in the timeline from the first posting) met to discuss
feedback on October 27th and November 10th.
- The final recommended structure below has been updated to reflect that feedback. Most
of the feedback regarding where programs would end up had to do with interdisciplinary
programs. A few conversations are ongoing with these programs about where they will
ultimately want to reside and an idea for a school to house a group of these programs
is being developed.
- As currently recommended, every department that submitted a departmental statement
is housed in the college that most closely aligns with the statement submitted.
- The Provost, Deans, and Vice-Provost are committed to creating opportunities, including
a funding pool, to support cross-college and interdisciplinary teaching, research,
and service activities.
- College names are still in draft form and will be confirmed by the end of the spring
Implementation Operating Principles
- The goal of the reorg is to more evenly distribute administrative support, administrative
complexity, the production of student credit hours, and potentially build on pedagogical
and/or disciplinary commonalities in ways that improve upon our current organizational
- A further goal of the reorganization is to provide equity to faculty and departments
in terms of their ability to serve students, engage in professional development, and
participate in strategic initiatives.
- As the reorg plan is finalized, we will communicate with alumni, students, and other
- APSCUF and management will work collaboratively with faculty to develop and implement
a plan to update shared governance structures.
- We will provide a list of FAQs on the website and keep it updated as the implementation
- Resources (both human and financial) will travel with departments and programs.
- Space is an important resource, and we will need to continue to actively pursue both
appropriate teaching/learning and research space. Much of this is detailed in the
updated Facilities Master Plan, which is being finalized and will be shared soon with
- We are aware that there are many moving parts to the implementation of the reorganization,
and we are committed to providing a more detailed list of the steps for the implementation.
We will also develop a working draft of a timeline that can be updated as needed as
we work through the implementation. For example, as noted above, finalizing college
names would need to take place in Spring 2016.
- We will continue to communicate about the process and implementation and will monitor
- We will evaluate the extent to which the reorganization has been successful.