Academic Structure Review Committee
Final Report of the Academic Structure Review Committee (ASRC)
(Originally created as the College Reorganization Committee)
Academic Affairs (Chair)
|Clark Germann||Technical Communication and Media Production (Vice Chair)|
|Kamran Sahami||Physics (Vice Chair)|
|Myron Anderson||Diversity Office, Teacher Education|
|John Cochran||School of Business|
|Virginia Cruz||Social Work|
|Ramon Del Castillo||Chicana/o Studies|
|Marilyn Hetzel||Communication Arts and Sciences|
|Diane Hollenbeck||Earth and Atmospheric Sciences|
|Mike Martinez||Criminal Justice and Criminology|
|Ken Phillips||Industrial Design|
|Dorothy Snozek||Faculty Senate, Teacher Education|
|Ali Thobhani||International Studies, African and African American Studies|
|Michael Wray||Hospitality, Tourism and Events|
|Janice Wurster||Teacher Education|
|Erica Yan||School of Business|
Charge to the Committee from Interim Provost Linda Curran
The College Reorganization Committee is charged with proposing academic organizational structures that would best position Metro State to move forward to achieve its mission and to successfully implement our strategic initiatives. It is not a forgone conclusion that major restructuring of the current three schools (LAS, SPS, and Business) is necessary, but any structural problems that can impede progress toward preeminence should be identified and considered. The College Reorganization Committee’s work may include the following: (1) suggesting possible restructuring or realignment to address any problems that may be identified; (2) prioritizing possible solutions that may be proposed; and, to the extent possible (3) identifying the College resources required to put in place any proposed solutions.
The Committee's role is advisory. Recommendations produced as described above will be forwarded to the Provost and President for discussion with the President's Cabinet and Trustees. The emphasis should be on structural, rather than personnel-related, problems, as procedures and policies already exist to address personnel-related issues. As the Committee carries out its charge, every effort should be made to keep the college community informed about its progress.
Committee Meetings: The committee met 21 times between April 2008 and April 2009. At the meetings, the committee considered various aspects of the organizational structure of the Academic Affairs Division and processes for evaluating reorganization.
Input from Interested Parties: In April 2008, an article in This Week @ Metro State highlighted the formation of the committee. At the request of the committee, the Provost sent an e-mail to full-time faculty encouraging faculty and staff “to discuss ideas and thoughts with their department chairs or supervising administrators.” In May 2008, the committee solicited input from Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs. Deans of the three schools met with their department chairs to discuss reorganization in detail. In July 2008, the committee submitted a progress report. This report was discussed at the Faculty Senate in September 2008. In order to allow the college community ample opportunity to provide input, the committee solicited specific proposals dealing with reorganization from all faculty, staff, and administrators within the Academic Affairs division upon the start of the fall 2008 semester. The requested format for these proposals is included in Appendix A. These proposals were originally due in October 2008 to allow sufficient time for review, given the original charge to complete the committee’s final report by November. The committee subsequently extended the deadline to March 1, 2009 to allow some interested parties time to complete their proposals. This still allowed all proposals to be reviewed before the end of the spring 2009 semester.
Academic Structure Review Committee Website: The ASRC website, located on the Academic Affairs website, provided information about the committee’s activities and progress. The website provided an opportunity for feedback from those external to the committee.
Process for Reviewing Possible Modifications
to the Academic Affairs Organizational Structure
The committee developed and approved a process for reviewing specific proposals for changing the organizational structure of the division. The committee decided that there is no reason to explore structures and changes which nobody is proposing. Since the committee’s role is advisory, the committee’s review and recommendations are not mandatory; changes to the structure might proceed via collaboration of the Provost, Deans and other constituents without going through this committee.
- Proposals/Ideas: The committee should start with the proposals for new organizational structures which some group or individual believes will help the college better fulfill its mission or strategic initiatives. Some proposals may come from the committee itself or committee members based upon review of the strategic initiatives.
- Vetting/Research: The second stage would entail soliciting input from individuals and constituencies, and gathering relevant information. To encourage participation from those hesitant to express opinions contrary to those to whom they report, the committee will develop an input form for which contact information is optional
- Evaluation: The third stage would entail identifying pros/cons, impacts and costs, intellectual merit, and other measures of organizational appropriateness (flexibility, accountability, communication, cross-discipline cooperation, program delivery, shared governance). Major considerations will be whether the plan advances the College’s strategic plan and strategic initiatives.
- Recommendations: Based upon the elements in the evaluation, the committee would determine whether or not to recommend the change.
Summary of Input and Discussions
During 2007-2008 MSCD made great progress in faculty hiring, administration and budget stabilization, thereby advancing the mission of the college. However, any changes in organizational structure should be viewed in the context of subsequent budget cuts.
Many interested parties expressed the concern that the primary impediments to progress towards preeminence revolve around the lack of sufficient resources rather than an inappropriate organizational structure. The lack of staff throughout the division (academic departments, Deans’ offices, Internship Center, Honors Program, Center for Individualized Learning) was cited as a major barrier to advancing the College’s mission.
Some faculty were concerned about the size of the School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. The LAS Chairs and Dean in general like the current configuration of the school. They believe that it operates efficiently and meets their needs. The current and past Chairs of Art, Music, and Theatre have long believed in the value of a School of the Arts. Such a structure can provide significant benefit for the College with a strong and visible presence to the campus and greater communities. The LAS Dean agrees with increasing the strength and visibility of the Arts so that they can achieve this vision in the future.
Alumni and outside collaborators may prefer familiar academic structures that they know and understand. Separating departments from their existing schools might diminish their value and integrity from an employer perspective. Employers seek strong schools and departments with good reputations.
The Dean of Professional Studies, in consultation with the school department chairs, suggested that centers within schools would be an efficient cost-effective way to make more visible the matches between Denver and Metro State.
The cost to create a new dean’s office would be substantial. The Interim Provost estimated a minimum of $300,000 per year for the maintenance of such an office.
The administrative changes associated with changes in schools would create substantial one-time workload for administrative and support, including the redesign of forms and major reprogramming in BANNER.
An analysis of Metro State’s thirteen NCHEM peer institutions reveals that the number of colleges or schools ranges from four to ten, with a mean of 6.8. Eight of the thirteen institutions had a separate graduate school or college (see Appendix B).
In October 2008, Academic Structure Review Committee solicited proposals for specific plans for changes in the structure of the Academic Affairs Division. To encourage broad involvement from the Metro State community, the committee encouraged input from those outside of Academic Affairs, although the structure of other divisions is outside the purview of the committee. The deadline for submission was set at February 1, 2009, and later extended to March 1, 2009. The committee received five proposals.
- Creation of a new Department of Theatre
- Splitting the Teacher Education Department into smaller department units
- Creation of a School of Education
- Creation of a School of the Arts
- Creation of a School of Accountancy
1. The Academic Structure Review Committee evaluated the attached proposal regarding the formation of an independent Theatre Department. The Theatre Program currently is housed in the Department of Communications Arts and Sciences (CAS) along with majors in Speech Communication and Journalism. The proposal clearly laid out the motivation, benefits, logistics, and costs associated with the establishment of an independent department within LAS. The full proposal is included in Appendix C.
In November 2008, the Academic Structure Review Committee recommended that a Department of Theatre be established, and that the Dean work with faculty and staff to implement the structural change. The committee recommendation is included in Appendix D. A new Department of Theatre has been established, effective for the Fall 2009 semester.
2. The Academic Structure Review Committee evaluated the attached proposal regarding restructuring of Teacher Education. In the proposal, the Teacher Education Department (TED) would be split into three or four separate departments, all remaining within the School of Professional Studies. The proposal clearly laid out the motivation, benefits, logistics, and costs associated with subdividing the TED into separate departments. The proposed subdivision is supported by the TED faculty, and the Deans of the Schools of Professional Studies and Letters, Arts, and Sciences. The full proposal is included in Appendix E.
In November 2008, The Academic Structure Review Committee recommended the establishment of either 3 or 4 departments of Teacher Education, to be implemented for Fall 2009. The committee recommendation is included in Appendix F. After careful consideration of the costs and logistics involved, the Provost and the SPS Dean agreed to a revised plan for subdividing the Teacher Education Department into two departments, effective for the Fall 2009 semester.
3. The Academic Structure Review Committee unanimously supports the attached proposal for a School of Education at MSCD. The elevation of the college-wide teacher preparation program to a School of Education provides institutional recognition necessary for national pre-eminence and visibility within Colorado’s education community. This recognition is critical as the College begins to offer Master’s degree programs to meet the demonstrated high needs of school districts in our service area. Moreover, having a dean-level administrator who is solely responsible to Metro State’s large teacher preparation program makes sense administratively and for accreditation purposes. The committee urges that this proposal be considered for implementation as soon as possible. The full proposal is included in Appendix G.
4. The Academic Structure Review Committee unanimously supports the attached proposal for a ‘School of the Arts’ at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Potential advantages for the establishment of such a school include increased visibility, image, and stature, both within and beyond the Metro State community. A school that unites Art, Music, and Theatre would continue to propel these programs toward the achievement of national pre-eminence by providing a strong and united focus with clear structures for fundraising, publicity, arts accreditation, and collaborative activities. Consideration must be given to a budgeting system and resources that recognize the unique nature of arts programs, assigned additional staffing that can fully support the advantages listed above, and assigned facilities and space to adequately support such change. The committee urges that this proposal be considered as soon as possible. The full proposal is included in Appendix H.
5. The Academic Structure Review Committee suggests that the proposal for a School of Accountancy existing within the School of Business be thoroughly discussed at the school level prior to discussions at the institutional level. The full proposal is included in Appendix I.
6. The Academic Structure Review Committee recommends that the Provost or President extend the charge of the ASRC to continue to meet beyond 2008-09. With the mechanism for review and protocols established by the committee, major structural changes could be better evaluated. Ideally, the ASRC might function most effectively as a subcommittee reporting to an institutional strategic planning committee, facilitating synthesis and consistency. Furthermore, the continued existence of the committee would provide a forum for counsel on matters of organizational structure for the incoming Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.