As spring semester starts, students will begin to see more of the tangible changes brought about by the academic reorganization of the University approved in the fall by the Board of Trustees.
Initially, many of these changes will be small — new signage and administrative office moves — but behind the scenes, founding deans of new colleges are engaged in the budget preparation process and beginning to talk about collaborative schools, said Dr. William McMillen, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
“The College of Visual and Performing Arts leaders are already envisioning a School of Creativity that will bring in experts from across the University, such as creative writing faculty in the College of Language, Literature and Social Sciences,” McMillen said. “Schools are still in the process of being created and by design that is an organic process that will continue indefinitely as schools come and go in response to the changing needs of students and the community.”
UT President Lloyd Jacobs has said that the reorganization will allow previously underrepresented disciplines a seat at the budget table and a stronger voice to advocate for their disciplines.
While the transitions continue, particularly with those new colleges created from the former College of Arts and Sciences, there will be crossovers and some duplication as University leaders work to identify the most efficient ways to serve students, McMillen said.
“It’s important that process be thoughtful and deliberate,” he said. “As President Jacobs has said, this reorganization process will require thousands of decisions, and we are calling on students, faculty and staff to provide input in making those decisions.”
One decision that already has been made is students set to graduate this spring will do so from the original College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Science and Human Service, and the Judith Herb College of Education. All future classes of students will graduate from the newly created colleges.
On Nov. 23, UT News reported that the College of Language, Literature and Social Sciences, led by Dr. Alice Skeens, will be located in the offices of the former College of Arts and Sciences in University Hall; the offices for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, led by Dean Debra Davis, will be in the Center for the Visual Arts on the Toledo Museum of Art Campus; and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and its dean, Dr. Karen Bjorkman, are moving into administrative offices in Wolfe Hall.