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October 2010

Structural shift

The academic restructuring on campus has a number of people curious about what it will mean for the future for various units and for the university. Below, Provost David H. Perrin explains the process and timetable as he addresses a few questions.

Why is UNCG engaging in academic restructuring?
Institutions across the country are reorganizing to meet changes in the academic marketplace and current economic conditions. Between April 1 and June 1, 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education listed restructuring plans by more than 50 universities and colleges in the United States. UNCG has an opportunity to build on its historic strengths in health and human development, to respond to emerging disciplines/fields and the changing needs of the state and nation.

Which academic units at UNCG will be involved in the restructuring?
UNCG's strengths in health and human development are primarily in the School of Health and Human Performance and the School of Human Environmental Sciences, but also exist in other academic units. The restructuring process will create a single academic unit that builds on existing strengths in health and human development in HHP, HES and possibly other academic units, departments and/or programs.

How much money will be saved with the restructuring?
The exact amount of money to be saved will not be known until the final structure of the new academic unit is determined. At the least, it is expected that substantial savings will be realized from the elimination of one complete administrative structure with the creation of a single academic unit from two existing units.

What is the schedule for the restructuring?
A committee of faculty, staff and students will meet during the 2010-11 academic year to recommend a structure that would create a single academic unit (school or college) building on strengths around health and human development, including the proposed name of the new unit. Implementation of the new unit will begin during the fall of 2011, in part to help UNCG prepare for budget reductions that are projected to be very challenging during the 2011-2013 biennium.

Who is on the committee?
The membership includes faculty representation from HHP and HES (one from each department in each unit), the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, School of Nursing, Genetic Counseling, Gerontology, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, one staff member each from HHP and HES and one student each from HES and HHP. For a full list, visit http://provost.uncg.edu/restructuring.

Will any departments or programs be eliminated as part of the restructuring?
No departments or programs will be eliminated as part of this restructuring process. The Restructuring Committee will recommend an academic home for all existing departments either within the restructured unit or other existing academic units. Should continuing budget deficits force UNCG to consider program curtailment or elimination, criteria for program evaluation will be developed and all programs and degrees will be reviewed.

How will UNCG know if the restructuring is meeting its goals?
UNCG will monitor metrics with respect to students, faculty and external constituents. Sample metrics for students will include selectivity and yield of applications, retention and graduation rates, and number of degrees conferred as a percent of majors; for faculty, successful faculty searches, retention and interdisciplinary collaborations; and for external constituents, maintenance of program accreditations, increase/decrease in alumni giving and increase in positive media coverage.

How will the restructuring impact past gifts made to the involved academic units?
In all cases the wishes of donors will be honored. Endowments established within programs or departments will follow those programs and departments. For endowments established for the School of Health and Human Performance or School of Human Environmental Sciences, donors will be provided the option of modifying Statements of Establishment to designate funds to specific programs or departments, or to the new academic unit (school or college).

To what extent is history important to UNCG?
History matters at UNCG. Since its founding, the institution has made many key structural and organizational changes in response to the changing needs of society. As with past restructuring, institutional memory, traditions and UNCG's rich cultures will be preserved and enfolded into the process of creating new ones.

Is there a communication plan for the restructuring process?
The Restructuring Committee is developing a plan for multiple forms of communication to all stakeholders (students, alumni, faculty, staff, external community groups, trustees and advisory boards, etc.). A restructuring web site is being developed that will provide frequent updates and an opportunity to ask questions about the process.

 

 

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