By Patricia Ressell-Deras
In 2016, university executives announced that a strategic plan would be coming to the New Jersey campuses to create a “new FDU.”
On October 5, 2018, Dr. Small sent out an email to Metropolitan employees regarding the strategic plan that FDU is implementing. The email mentions that an Advisory Committee was created and ultimately were the ones who decided on changes to the infrastructure.
The email mentioned that, “after considering best practices and other models in higher education and after reviewing closely the report of an external group . . .” the committee approved the current ongoing structure. Dr. Small noted that that the proposal was “approved by a majority vote (without negative votes)” on October 1.
Since then, rumors have circulated the campus about what the future of the Metro campus will look like.
The Equinox interviewed Provost Gillian Small to discuss the upcoming restructuring of both New Jersey campuses and to clarify potential worries.
“Any university structure is complex, FDU particularly,” said Dr. Small.
FDU has an unusual design when it comes to the infrastructure. “We have a structure at the moment where we have professional schools that are currently in a college reporting up to a dean that is not an expert in the school.”
Under the reconstruction, FDU will have a “much more efficient structure and. . .much more easy to understand,” Dr. Small said.
The ACTA Consultant’s Report that was released a little over a year ago listed changes to department hierarchy, creation of new departments and schools, eliminating duplicate classes and the proposal that professors could travel between the two campuses. The contents of this report has created much controversy regarding the changes.
However, in the interview, Dr. Small said that the consultant’s report is not a baseline for the restructure, but instead offered theoretical suggestions for the reconstruction. “It was a report. It was there to view things that we could do if we so wished,” she said.
“I talked to a number of consultants actually over the last couple of years about different things” Dr. Small said. She used the consultants “to bounce ideas off [of], to get their thought. . . write a report, have a conversation.”
When asked if there are any written reports that reflect the timeline of current restructuring events, the response was an indirect “No.” There is no updated report with detailed plans on the new changes.
When asked if potential incoming students have been made aware that the university is undergoing such restructuring changes, Dr. Small responded that, “it will be seamless to new students [to know] because they will have the same sort of course offerings.”
The Wroxton and Vancouver campuses will not adopt the new schedule changes because they work “a bit differently,” due to the different programs and courses offered at each campus, the different holidays in each country and the different requirements each campus possesses.
“Nobody likes change . . .and when you make change there are sometimes hiccups,” Provost Small told The Equinox. “I think it’s gonna be a positive thing.”
Provost Gillian Small