CAHSS reorganization plan moving forward

BY RAEGAN NEUFELD

For the faculty and staff in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Tuesday marked both the start of a new semester and the start of the next step in the College’s reorganization. 

The reorganization, which was proposed as a way to avoid potential program cuts and has been a work in progress since April, is officially moving forward. The plan was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents last month. According to Fort Hays State University Provost Jill Arensdorf, the approval was unanimous. 

As presented to the Faculty Senate in September, the reorganization will create three departments and two schools.

  • The Department of English and Modern Languages
  • The Department of History and Philosophy
  • The Department of Communication Studies, Law, and Political Science
  • The School of Criminal Justice, Leadership, and Sociology
  • The School of Visual and Performing Arts.

“As communicated earlier this fall, the next steps in the plan will be to name leadership of the units (chairs and program coordinators), work through budget plans, and continue to imagine possibilities for interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary work,” Arensdorf told faculty and staff in an email.

At the Faculty Senate meeting in September, Arensdorf had said leadership for each department and school would possibly be finalized in June.

In a statement to Tiger Media Network, Arensdorf again emphasized the reasoning behind the reorganization, other than the possibility of KBOR cutting programs.

“This college reorganization will provide operational efficiencies, but more importantly position us to grow, increase interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary opportunities, and create an academic organization that is collaborative, engaging, and articulates the value of the liberal arts in clear and compelling terms,” she said.

Arensdorf told faculty and staff she expects the newly formed units to continue making progress, starting this semester. She also mentioned that the Faculty Senate had approved a revised General Education program that complies with new KBOR requirements.

“Neither of these major changes are sprints, but marathons,” she said in the email. “There is still much work to do. I look forward to continuing our engagement together on this and other work at FHSU.”

The changes to the CAHSS will not be made until the 2024 fiscal year, while the new General Education program will be implemented in the Fall 2023 semester. 

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