University Structure Changes

Reorganization into School Looms

By Theresa King, Managing Editor

It’s not clear when.

And it’s not clear how.

But change is coming to FDU.

“If we’re going to grow the university, that means we have to look at our own portfolio and determine where programs are duplicated across campuses,” President Christopher Capuano told The Equinox on March 7. “In terms of objective, the work has to start now. There’s an evolution going on here.”

That evolution seems to be underway, as the administration has announced the creation of the School of Public and Global Affairs, a project energized by a gift from an alum, according to University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Small. A search for a dean is presently being conducted. The dean will report to Provost Small, Capuano said.

Additionally, the School of Pharmacy plans to develop a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy, and Wroxton College will be offering its first full-degree program, a Master of Science in Hospitality Management Studies, commencing this fall.

Capuano said that some professional schools will become more independent, and opportunities to “eliminate duplication” will be pursued.

Small told The Equinox on April 11 that the university plans to begin working on Section 4.1 of the Strategic Plan, which will critically examine programs to determine their path.

To do so, an advisory committee, consisting of two faculty members from each college, will be formed to start looking at the possibilities of structural change.

“We need to have faculty involvement and recommendations,” Small said.

Dr. Karen Denning, president of the Faculty Senate, said that discussions in the Faculty Senate have already been occurring, which pushed the need for a committee.

“The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate has voted in favor of requesting that each college conduct college-wide nominations and elect two representatives per college to serve on an  advisory group to address any changes or restructuring that may (or may not) occur at FDU,” Denning said in an email to The Equinox.

“This group, if subsequently authorized by the full University Senate, will work with the University Provost, who will chair the advisory group to consider any potential changes,” Denning wrote. “Concern and care for the welfare of all FDU students will be foremost in everyone’s mind.  Four administrators will be added to the  advisory committee. However before formation, the full University Senate must authorize this and each college in the university must conduct nominations and elect two tenure-line faculty members. The goal is that these faculty representatives be in place promptly so that the advisory group can meet before the summer break.”

Provost Small said that the university deans will do a cost analysis of programs, as well as look at their success and enrollment rates. She said the university must “start now” to get the committee together to examine the composed data and “come back together in August to start working on it.”

Small said she hopes to have recommendations from the committee by the end of November.

President Capuano said one reason for potential reorganization of the university is that most universities have a separation of colleges and schools, as opposed to FDU, which emcompasses schools within colleges.

One thing that is certain, however, is that titles within the administration will be changing.

“Campus provost titles will change,” Capuano told The Equinox on March 7. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to have the university provost handling the academic budget.”

Capuano said that by July 1 there will only be one provost in the entire university, Provost Gillian Small.

When asked about the potential elimination of duplicate programs across the Florham and Metro campuses, and the possibility of faculty having to teach courses on both campuses, Small said “no decisions have been made.” She said that the Strategic Plan is still in the process of moving forward, but noted that there are currently faculty members who teach on both campuses.

“Sometimes there are faculty that transfer between both campuses,” Small said. “I don’t know if there will be more of that.”

Small tried to stress the positive elements.

“With any change, people get nervous,” she said. “But when you’re trying to invest, it means everything else has its day. Everybody benefits from it.”

Small said she has high hopes for FDU.

“My goal would be that FDU eventually be considered one of the best universities in the New Jersey/Metropolitan region,” she said. “You get that by having excellent programs that people recognize.”