SIU moving forward with reorganization - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU moving forward with reorganization

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- This week, the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the first phase of SIU's academic reorganization plan. 

Interim Chancellor John Dunn sent out an email this week saying seven schools have been approved, and the university can now move forward.  

Currently, there are more than 50 departments and schools, and this reorganization aims to bring that number in the 20's. Interim Provost Meera Komarraju said the changes will be gradual.  

Each department's chair, and members of the faculty and staff, will be included in the transition process as part of "work groups" to make the changes smooth and efficient. After that, SIU will put leadership in place in each school. Then they'll assess staff structure and develop operating papers.

Komarraju explained that the school doesn't aim to let anyone go and said the current programs will stay the same, as will the instructors, but just the administrative structure will change. 

She says this reorganization is still the right move because its's positioning SIU for future students. 

"We are doing everything possible to increase enrollment and restructuring is a way of being more efficient in terms of what we deliver and making use of our resources as fully as possible. So I think we are moving towards a brighter future," said Komarraju. 

She said the reorganization will help keep SIU relevant by offering more research opportunities and experiences appealing to future students.

Faculty Senate President Jonathan Bean explained phase one will take a lot of work but agrees it will be worth it for the students. 

"Some programs might introduce students to multiple disciplines within the same school. So you might be in a school and you come to a program, say in economics, but you're introduced to another field called analytics," said Bean. 

News Three talked with current students who say changes so far have been confusing and difficult to adjust to, but they understand in the long run, this may make things more efficient and helpful to future students. 

The plan is to launch these schools July 1st. The schools are: 

  • School of Biological Science, bringing together programs in biological sciences, microbiology, plant biology and zoology.
  • School of Applied Engineering and Technology, bringing together programs in technology and information systems and technologies (electronic systems technologies and technical resource management).
  • School of Earth Systems and Sustainability, bringing together programs in geography, environmental resources and geology.
  • School of Health Sciences, bringing together programs in allied health (dental hygiene, health care management, mortuary science and funeral service, physical therapist assistant, radiologic sciences and nursing, pending the program’s approval by the IBHE) and the Rehabilitation Institute (communication disorders and sciences, rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation services).
  • School of Justice and Public Safety, bringing together programs in criminology and criminal justice, paralegal studies and public safety management.
  • School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, bringing together programs in psychology and behavior analysis and therapy.
  • School of Computing, including computer science programs.

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