Consolidating Colleges looks to be a win-win plan
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 15:02
Southern looks to enhance the quality of its’ academic programs and student opportunities by restructuring its’ colleges through a proposed six-college model.
According to VerJanis A. Peoples, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the university began an academic reorganization process back in October 2011.
“The plan represents the merger and/ or realignment of existing colleges and departments, from nine academic colleges and schools into six new colleges,” Peoples said.
If the proposal goes through, the new colleges will be as follows:
College of Education,
Arts, and Humanities, College of Business,
College of Social& Behavioral Sciences,
College of Engineering & Computer Science,
College of Sciences & Agriculture,
School of Nursing & Allied Health.
“This six-college model was viewed for a couple of years by deans, directors, administrators, and faculty across the campus,” Peoples said.
While the model will save money, she also said that the commonalities that exist between these programs are the reason behind the merger.
“By collapsing these programs, they can enhance or build upon existing programs, and therefore assist students more,” Peoples said.
Although she said that the College of Business was left alone, as she said it could stand alone, other premier programs like Engineering, will only grow from merging with Computer Science.
Dean of Engineering, Habb P. Mohamadian, said that he thinks the merger is a win-win scenario for the department. “This will make us a stronger force.”
Mohamadian said, that both computer science and electrical engineering are accredited by the same entity ABET, which is a accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.
Kendrick Woodard, sophomore, mechanical engineering major from Houston said, “ I think that the merger will be a good thing because computer science and engineering go hand in hand.”
Mohamadian said that between the two departments, grant proposals will be stronger and increase the possibility of getting more funding.
Joyce O’Rourke, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said that the model is very new, and although it raises many questions, the faculty has pledged to work it out.
Jason Tate, Junior Mass Communications major from Baton Rouge said, “It sounds like an ok idea. I just hope it makes the academics better.”
Appointed to Interim Vice Chancellor back in December, Peoples has assumed many roles.
Former dean of the College of Education, she now serves as interim dean and assistant dean of the college.
“We think the model will give students more opportunities to select majors and be in colleges where there are an abundance of resources,” Peoples said.
She also stressed that while this is the proposed model, the proposal has not yet been presented or approved by the Southern Board of Supervisors, but if approved will take affect starting Fall 2013.