Faculty changes slated for 2016
Proposals put forward to reduce MRU’s faculties from seven to five
Due to major budget-cuts, Mount Royal has experienced a lot of changes. Most recently. the prospect of Market Modifiers to be grandfathered into the Business, Science and Nursing programs in the upcoming school years. Another change that may be coming is the proposed faculty modifications.
Faculties, according to provost Kathy Shailer are the administrative structures that house Mount Royal’s academic programs. According to Shailer, this will help reduce costs.
“(The proposal) is currently pending approval by Mount Royal’s General Faculties Council and Board of Governors (regarding) any changes would take place over the next three academic years,” said Shailer.
Currently there’s a proposal put forward to combine the Bissett School of Business with the Faculty of Communication. Valerie Kinnear, Dean of Bissett School of Business, says this change would mean that instead of having a dean for each of the faculties, there would only be one.
“This makes it more efficient and effective. Currently, each dean creates faculty meetings, so by having only one dean this will cut down on time and make things run smoother.”
According to Kinnear, there will be no layoffs, since both Kinnear and Mark A. Chikinda, dean of the communications faculty, are reaching the end of their terms.
A possible point of tension is where the dean’s attention will be focused. A benefit to having a dean for each program ensures that each program’s issues are independently expressed and cared for. Overseeing the two could potentially lead to one program feeling more valued over the other. As well, one program might change to work with the other, therefore losing some of its elements.
“Usually there’s a desire to have more faculties than fewer,” said Kinnear. But overall, it’s expected that this change would be for the better.
“An advantage is that now one dean can look at how things are done in each faculty and make things better. For example, in the business program, students have a general admission and then after a year can declare their major. Students in the communication program have to declare their major and then apply for the program,” Kinnear said.
“Now we get to look at both programs and look at advantages and disadvantages to how each operate.”
Several other faculties may be affected as well: the Faculty of Teaching and Learning will be dissolved and current programming would be moved primarily under a new Associate VP of Teaching and Learning, the Department of Education will move to the Faculty of Health and Community Studies.
This would reduce the number of faculties from seven to five. Whether proposals will be approved or not will be revealed in 2016.