UW Provost submits recommendations for academic restructuring

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The University of Wyoming reports that following extensive review and input from internal and external stakeholders, University of Wyoming Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman has submitted recommendations to reconfigure many of UW’s academic programs, including eliminating some degree programs.

The recommendations, which may be viewed here, were substantially informed by the work of several UW committees, feedback from over 700 comments in a public online portal, and many perspectives shared by external and internal stakeholders.

“This has been a difficult and unsettling process for the university and many of our stakeholders, but the feedback and discussions have been extremely valuable to arrive at the best possible plan for UW,” Carman said. “The proposed changes position UW for a strong future as it fulfills its land-grant mission of learning, discovery and engagement.”

The final recommendations maintain the original proposal to reorganize the university’s academic colleges. But the list of degree programs identified for elimination has been adjusted, as have proposed consolidations and eliminations of some academic departments.

Specifically, the recommendations call for the College of Engineering and Applied Science to become the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, with several departments moving there from the current College of Arts and Sciences. Likewise, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources would become the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with several departments moving there from the current College of Arts and Sciences. And the College of Arts and Sciences would become the College of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts — bringing UW in line with the way many universities organize those disciplines. The proposed names of these colleges are tentative and could be adjusted.

Among the changes from the initial proposal:

— The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics would remain in the new College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and not consolidate with the Department of Economics in the College of Business.

— The Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Chemistry would remain separate departments in the new College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

— The Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering would be not be discontinued but, instead, consolidated into a single department in the new College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

— The Department of Geology and Geophysics would not be downsized, and it and the Department of Petroleum Engineering would remain as separate departments in the new College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

— In the new College of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, the Department of Art and Art History, the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance would remain separate departments.

Among the proposals that have not changed significantly from the initial presentation:

— From the current College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the program in agricultural communications would move to the Department of Communication and Journalism, although students would still be advised in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences would be reduced, with the nutrition program moving to the College of Health Sciences; and the Early Care and Education Center moving to the College of Education.

— The School of Counseling, Leadership and Design would be discontinued in the College of Education, and the college would be reorganized. The provost’s specific proposal, based upon input from a review committee and the dean’s recommendation, is for the college to have three divisions: one focused on educator preparation; one for graduate education; and one for innovation and engagement. Up to four graduate degrees could be eliminated.

— The Department of Physics and Astronomy would move from the current College of Arts and Sciences and be consolidated into one department with the Department of Atmospheric Science, located in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Also moving to that college would be the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

— The Department of English and the Creative Writing Program would be merged, but implementation would be delayed until the 2023-24 academic year.

— The American Studies Program would move into the School of Gender, Culture and Social Justice, but there would be no consolidation of degree programs.

— The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies would be reduced.

A number of degree programs initially targeted for elimination would be maintained under the provost’s recommendations: bachelor’s degrees in German and French, as well as in Spanish, German and French secondary education; master’s degrees in political science, international studies and architectural engineering; and graduate degrees in entomology.

In addition to the up to four graduate degrees mentioned above in the College of Education, degrees slated for elimination or suspension are the master’s degrees in sociology, philosophy, and family and consumer sciences; the MBA degrees in finance and energy; and the Ph.D. in statistics.

Comment is now being accepted on the recommendations. A survey is available on the Academic Affairs website, with an Oct. 27, comment deadline. The provost, along with President Ed Seidel, plans to present the final proposal to UW’s Board of Trustees about Nov. 1. The board is scheduled to act during its Nov. 17-19, meeting.

The academic restructuring and reduction process is governed by UW Regulation 2-13, which requires a maximum 120-day review period that was triggered in July for most of the proposed changes. Proposed elimination of four graduate degrees in the College of Education, and possible dissolution of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, are new developments that will require their own Regulation 2-13 reviews.

There also will be an additional Regulation 2-13 process to consider moving the Human Development and Family Sciences Program to the College of Education and to examine possible alignments for the Textiles, Design and Merchandising Program that currently is part of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

For information on the UW Regulation 2-13 process and answers to frequently asked questions, visit www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/program-review/current/index.html.



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