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Reorganization

 

Introductory letter from Dr. Gordon

Dear Members of the SFA Family:

There are many reasons SFA must continue to innovate and update how and where we deliver learning experiences to our students. To thrive in the future, we must take the initiative to become the model for how higher education can be successful in 2021 and beyond. We must break the mold when it comes to providing students with rich hands-on, applied and multidisciplinary learning experiences. Our students must be able to thrive in programs that align with today’s digital, fast-changing, interconnected and multidisciplinary business/industry landscape.

As stated in a May 21 memo to all university units, to meet the challenges of today, we must think differently, boldly and with the urgency to shape our future in a positive and profound way. To that end, I charged each cabinet member with analyzing the structure of areas in their purview and to explore new models for organizational units to address today’s ever changing volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

As a result, at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, an ad hoc team of 12 faculty members was assembled by the provost and vice president of academic affairs, which included two faculty from each of our six colleges. This faculty team – the Developing Organizational Options for Academic Affairs (DOOAA) team – was charged with:

Developing and proposing at least three options for restructuring SFA’s academic colleges, schools and departments. The options proposed must:

  • reduce administrative costs to redirect resources for faculty and staff support
  • provide clear guidance to degree and career pathways for prospective students and parents
  • enhance interdisciplinary and interprogrammatic collaboration
  • and establish the purpose of each college.

As you can see from the charge, we are not interested in herding faculty into new silos, but we want to establish an organizational structure for academic programs that works for our faculty and students in the 21st century.

The DOOAA team met every week in September and October, and attached is a copy of the team’s initial report. Please note that the organizational options presented in this report are simply that – organizational possibilities. The options are not in final form, nor are they presented with regard to priority, since the team was not charged with a final recommendation or a decision, other than which options they would include in this initial report.

In the future, these and other organizational options will be shared and discussed in Town Hall meetings, where we can have Q and A sessions and discuss why we should consider organizational changes for our academic units. I want to be clear—this is and will continue to be a faculty-driven process. This will not be the "president's plan" or the "provost's plan," but rather the faculty plan. I see my role, and that of the provost, as working with the faculty to make sure any developed and approved plan is implemented and functional.

The basic timeline is to obtain broad input through January 2021 and then to reassemble the DOOAA team to review the feedback and summarize the information for further consideration. I would like to have specific recommendations for the Board of Regents to consider during the Fall 2021 semester, with the goal of implementing a new organizational structure for academic colleges and departments in the Fall 2022 semester.

In closing, I would like to thank the 12-member DOOAA team of Jeremy Stovall and Jared Barnes (Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture), Candace Hicks and J.D. Salas (Fine Arts), Sam Copeland and Anne Smith (Liberal and Applied Arts), Nina Ellis-Hervey and Rachel Jumper (Perkins College of Education), Brian Beavers and Kevin Langford (Sciences and Mathematics), and Charlotte Allen and Nikki Shoemaker (Rusche College of Business); their meetings have been facilitated by Steve Bullard and Pauline Sampson. I sincerely appreciate the hard work of this team, and I look forward to working with them as this process moves forward in the coming months.

Again, please review the reorganization options and cost-savings estimates, and provide feedback via the survey link that has been provided to you. Thank you in advance for engaging in this extremely important process for the future of SFA.

Sincerely,

Scott Gordon signature

Scott Gordon
President

Executive Summary

SFA is currently structured with six colleges and 30 academic units. In this document, after summarizing our current structure, four possible alternatives are presented:

  • A five-college option
  • A four-college option
  • A three-college option
  • A no-college option

It is critical to note that none of these options may reflect the final organizational structure decided upon. There are many more possible variants of each of these four options. It also is possible to blend features from one variant into another. This set of options was selected to showcase a range of ideas for combined academic units and colleges. The feedback from the campus community is critical to evaluate these ideas and offer better options.

The five-college option presented could fix some existing problems, such as the allied health fields being scattered among many different units. While it creates minimal change, it produces a more logical grouping of our current units and may lead to novel collaborations, such as art and science.

The four-college option presented was selected to highlight a model that focuses on what a college is for and target that purpose directly to students’ interests. While the college names may be less traditional and intuitive to faculty, they should produce novel combinations that fuel collaboration.

The three-college option was guided by the concept of maximizing collisions of intellect, reducing silos to the extent possible and attempting to increase collaboration. It was also selected to minimize the transition to the new structure, with our existing units combined with as little reorganization as possible (i.e. combined College of Sciences and Mathematics with Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture; College of Liberal and Applied Arts with Fine Arts; James I. Perkins College of Education with Nelson Rusche College of Business).

The no-college option is an attempt to completely re-envision how academic affairs could operate, with 20 departments that are independent, not nested within any college. Chairs or directors could work together to fuel collaborations between units for purposes of accreditation, recruitment, novel programs and scholarly productivity. The roles of the deans would be assumed by assistant provosts, but the chairs and directors acting in concert through their forum would directly report to the provost, flattening the hierarchy and hopefully creating a nimble organizational structure. There would be no deans or associate deans. The expanded provost’s office would play a larger role on the President’s Cabinet. While this option may at first appear outlandish, it is intended as a faculty-centric approach. One fewer link in the communications chain may streamline the flow of information.

A rudimentary estimate of possible cost savings of different options was conducted. As the options presented are formative and will change further, it is not possible to provide exact cost-savings data. The various options could produce maximum annual estimated cost savings of:

  • A five-college option: $739,000
  • A four-college option: $1,141,000
  • A three-college option: $1,528,000
  • A no-college option: Between $1,066,000 and $2,011,000 depending on implementation

For context, SFA’s current projected FY22 operating budget is approximately $265 million, with academic affairs accounting for approximately $140 million of that total.

Current Structure

SFA’s six academic colleges currently contain 30 different academic programs that teach 80 undergraduate degree programs, 44 master’s degree programs and three doctoral degree programs. This represents 95 unique degree programs, as many are taught at multiple levels. The academic affairs division is currently led by the provost, one associate provost, six deans, 11 associate deans and 26 chairs or directors. Some units are led by deans (forestry), associate deans (multidisciplinary programs, social work), or by members of the United States military (military science), hence the apparent discrepancy in unit numbers and chairs or directors. A number of academic units are currently led by chairs or directors serving on an interim basis.

Perceived strengths

  • The least disruptive
  • Structure is known
  • Deans are able to help with fundraising and recruitment for smaller groupings of departments
  • Hierarchy can be useful when disseminating information

Perceived weaknesses

  • Cost of having six deans plus office staff is large
  • Interactions between the provost, deans, chairs and faculty are complex, which can lead to confusion as new initiatives and other changes are rolled out
  • Similarly, this complex hierarchy can cause difficulties in consistent communication across all levels of academic affairs
  • Difficulty in collaboration across units for coursework or research

Accreditations

While many of SFA’s 21 accrediting agencies only accredit individual degree programs housed in one unit, it is important to consider those accreditations that may span multiple degree programs and academic units when considering reorganization. For the purposes of this section, we do not consider those accreditations that are found within a single degree program (e.g. Society of American Foresters accreditation of the forestry degree program), as restructuring should not impact them. The accreditations listed here span multiple degree programs or academic units:

  • National Association of Schools of Arts and design, Commission on Accreditation (NASAD)
    • School of Human Sciences: Interior Design
    • School of Art: Art, Art Education
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
    • School of Human Sciences: Dietetics And Nutritional Sciences, Foods And Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
    • Business Communication and Legal Studies: Business Communication And Corporate Education, General Business
    • Economics and Finance: Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance
    • Marketing and Management: Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
    • Schlief School of Accountancy: Accounting
    • Nelson Rusche College of Business: Business Administration
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    • James I. Perkins College of Education Assessment and Accountability Office: various degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level involving educator preparation

Current SFA college organization

College Unit Degree Programs
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture Agriculture General Agriculture
Forestry Forestry, Geospatial Science, Resource Communications, Environmental Science
College of Fine Arts School of Art Art, Art Education
School of Music Music
School of Theatre Dance, Theatre
College of Liberal and Applied Arts Anthropology, Geography and Sociology Geography, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development
English and Creative Writing Creative Writing, English
Government Criminal Justice, National Security, Political Science, Public Administration
History History
Languages, Cultures and Communications Communication Studies, Hispanic Studies, International and Intercultural Communication, Modern Languages
Mass Communication Mass Communication
Military Science No degree program, has a minor
Multidisciplinary Programs Applied Arts And Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Publishing
Psychology Psychology, Teaching College Social Sciences
Social Work Social Work
College of Sciences and Mathematics Biology Biology
Chemistry and Biochemistry Biochemistry, Chemistry
Computer Science Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Information Technology
DeWitt School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Nursing (Post RN)
Geology Geology
Mathematics and Statistics Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, School Mathematics Teaching
Physics, Engineering and Astronomy Engineering Physics, Physics
James I. Perkins College of Education Education Studies Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Teaching, Teaching znd Learning
Human Services and Educational Leadership Communication Science And Disorders, Educational Leadership, Human Services, Pre-Audiology, Professional Counseling, Rehabilitation Services, School Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Student Affairs and Higher Education
Kinesiology and Health Science Athletic Training, Health Science, Kinesiology
School of Human Sciences Construction Management, Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Foods and Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
Nelson Rusche College of Business Business Communications and Legal Studies Business Communication and Corporate Education, General Business
Economics and Finance Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance
Management and Marketing Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
Schlief School of Accountancy Accounting
n/a Business Administration

Demographic data for current SFA colleges

Sums (FY20 unless noted) Forestry/Ag Fine Arts Liberal/Applied Arts Sciences and Mathematics Education Business
UG SCH Major* 10,944 15,600 22,940 19,959 44,355 16,635
UG SCH Non-major 1,982 10,515 68,621 45,619 17,056 22,938
UG SCH Total 12,926 26,115 91,561 65,578 61,411 39,573
GR SCH Major 745 1,036 4,541 1,415 14,524 1,290
GR SCH Non-major 187 43 264 284 565 1,440
GR SCH Total 932 1,079 4,805 1,699 15,089 2,730
Total (UG and G) SCH 13,858 27,194 96,366 67,277 76,500 42,303
Major FTSE 794 1,126 1,908 1,449 4,190 1,217
Non-major FTSE 148 705 4,597 3,065 1,184 1,649
Total FTSE 942 1,831 6,504 4,513 5,374 2,866
UG Headcount 770 859 2,879 2,041 2,845 1,689
GR Headcount 89 68 273 118 856 134
Total (UG and GR) Headcount 859 927 3,151 2,159 3,701 1,823
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 26 51 103 82 77 41
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 10 51 111 64 128 22
Total Faculty Headcount 36 107 220 169 214 63
Instructional Faculty FTE 56 164 322 250 262 106
Average Teaching Load Credits (no TAs) 36 35 27 32 28 22
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty FTE 49 100 174 141 152 76
Non-Tenure Track Faculty FTE 7 65 149 111 110 31
Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE  0 3 6 22 5
FY21 Administrative Staff Headcount 10 14 5 11 23 9
FY21 Administrative Staff FTE 10 13 5 11 23 8
FY21 Staff Headcount 4 4 18 12 15 7
FY21 Staff FTE 4 4 18 12 15 7

*Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

Reorganization Options

Five-college option

Five-college option

Rationale and Examples

This option involves the least change from our current structure, results in the least cost savings (data provided near the end of the document), but combines existing units to facilitate greater collaboration. Programs focused on similar disciplines (e.g. communication, health science) are currently scattered among different units. This option seeks to combine them. The most significant changes from our current structure include 1) creating a College for Health Sciences and Society, 2) creating a combined College for Arts and Sciences, 3) clustering most communications with the College for Business, Communication and Human Sciences, 4) creating a combined College for Natural Resources and Life Sciences and 5) focusing the purpose of the College for Education. Mass communications is combined with art and theatre to improve synergies with media such as radio and television.

A combined College for Arts and Sciences will enhance the possibility of intended, rather than accidental, collaborations between departments that are currently in separate colleges. For example, in Spring 2019, Rick Jones from the School of Theatre (College of Fine Arts) and Anne Collins Smith from the philosophy program (College of Liberal and Applied Arts) coordinated two of their classes informally, Asian Theatre and Eastern Philosophy in Martial Arts. This required extensive planning by both instructors and cooperation from their individual programs; ultimately, the courses were offered at the same time so that students from one class were able to visit the other. While the coordination enhanced both classes for the students, a formal procedure or support structure to link classes between colleges would be beneficial.

Perceived Strengths

  • Retains five deans for fundraising/marketing/etc. 
  • Fewer academic units per college 
  • Synergy of Art and Sciences creates many possibilities 
  • Groupings are meaningful and address changes to current structure that are needed
  • Though this isn't an extreme change to the structure, it does better group departments 

Perceived Weaknesses

  • Least cost savings 
  • Not enough change? 
  • Rearranges many departments for less cost savings 

Proposed Organization for the Five-college option

COLLEGE UNIT DEGREE PROGRAMS
College for Natural Resources and Life Sciences Agriculture General Agriculture
Natural Resources Forestry, Geospatial Science, Resource Communications, Environmental Science, Geology
Biology Biology
College for Arts and Sciences   School of Visual and Performing Arts Art, Art Education, Dance, Theatre, Mass Communication
School of Music Music
English and Creative Writing Creative Writing, English
Multidisciplinary Programs Applied Arts and Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Publishing
Chemistry and Physics Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering Physics, Physics
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, School Mathematics Teaching, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Information Technology
Psychology Psychology, Teaching College Social Sciences
College for Health Sciences and Society School of Human Societies Geography, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, Criminal Justice, National Security, Political Science, Public Administration, History, Military Science (minor, not degree program)
School of Human Services Communication Science And Disorders, Human Services, Pre-audiology, Professional Counseling, Rehabilitation Services, School Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology
DeWitt School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Nursing (Post RN)
Kinesiology and Health Science Athletic Training, Health Science, Kinesiology
Social Work Social Work
College for Education Education Studies Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Teaching, Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs and Higher Education, Educational Leadership
College for Business, Communication and Human Sciences School of Human Sciences Construction Management, Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Foods And Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
Languages, Cultures and Communications Communication Studies, Hispanic Studies, International and Intercultural Communication, Modern Languages
Business Communications, Economics and Finance Business Communication and Corporate Education, Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance, General Business
Management and Marketing Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
Schlief School of Accountancy Accounting
n/a Business Administration

Demographic Data for the Five-college option

Sums (FY20 unless noted) College for Arts and Sciences College for Business, Communication and Human Sciences College for Education College for Health Sciences and Society College for Natural Resources and Life Sciences
UG SCH Major* 32,830 31,044 12,450 39,152 14,957
UG SCH Non-major 67,884 41,376 3,831 36,217 17,423
UG SCH Total 100,714 72,420 16,281 75,369 32,380
GR SCH Major 2,264 2,024 6,371 11,581 1,311
GR SCH Non-major 335 1,596 159 442 251
GR SCH Total 2,599 3,620 6,530 12,023 1,562
Total (UG and G) SCH 103,313 76,040 22,811 87,392 33,942
Major FTSE 2,377 2,238 1,374 3,585 1,109
Non-major FTSE 4,554 2,891 269 2,451 1,182
Total FTSE 6,931 5,130 1,642 6,036 2,291
UG Headcount 2,391 2,492 1,390 3,645 1,165
GR Headcount 187 210 737 264 140
Total (UG and GR) Headcount 2,577 2,702 2,127 3,909 1,305
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 135 70 30 97 48
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 119 51 67 129 20
Total Faculty Headcount 268 122 97 235 87
Instructional Faculty FTE 419 200 99 329 113
Average Teaching Load Credits (no TAs) 31 23 29 27 35
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty FTE 247 128 58 172 87
Non-Tenure Track Faculty FTE 174 73 41 159 26
Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE 11 1 0 5 19
FY21 Administrative Staff Headcount 23 10 20 9 10
FY21 Administrative Staff FTE 22 9 20 9 10
FY21 Staff Headcount 16 9 12 16 7
FY21 Staff FTE 16 9 12 16 7

*Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

Four-college option

Four-college option

Rationale and Examples

This option focuses on grouping units together based on how their degree programs harmonize. Additionally, colleges are named with language that will resonate with students. This approach results in more cost savings than the five-college option and combines existing units to facilitate greater collaboration.

  • The College for Art, Culture and Communication focuses on studies of our culture and practices that enrich and share life.
  • The College for Discovery, Environment and Life groups degree programs that teach about the science of our world and the application of that knowledge.
  • The College for Humanity, Health and Learning are disciplines that focus on the health, learning and improvement of humanity.
  • The College for Business Innovation groups majors that focus on the data, business and math that drives our world.

Perceived Strengths

  • College titles designed to attract students 
  • Groups the "allied health" professions together 
  • Increases students career development path 
  • Does cut some administrative costs 
  • More apt to develop/retain culture in colleges 
  • Does not "re-invent the wheel," but takes the best of the idea and applies to SFA  

Perceived Weaknesses

  • Follows what other universities are doing (is it innovative to follow?) 
  • Difficult to know where each program is based on college name. 
  • Loss of identity
  • Is this enough change?  

Proposed Organization for the Four-college option

COLLEGE UNIT DEGREE PROGRAMS
College for Art, Culture and Communication School of Visual and Performing Arts Art, Art Education, Dance, Theatre, Mass Communication
School of Music Music
English and Creative Writing Creative Writing, English
Language, Cultures and Communication Communication Studies, Hispanic Studies, International and Intercultural Communication, Modern Languages
School of Human Societies Geography, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, Criminal Justice, National Security, Political Science, Public Administration, History, Military Science (minor, not degree program)
Multidisciplinary Programs Applied Arts and Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Publishing
College for Discovery, Environment and Life   Biology, Chemistry and Physics Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering Physics, Physics
Psychology Psychology, Teaching College Social Sciences
Agriculture General Agriculture
Natural Resources Forestry, Geospatial Science, Resource Communications, Environmental Science, Geology
College for Humanity, Health and Learning School of Human Sciences Construction Management, Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Foods And Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
School of Human Services Communication Science And Disorders, Human Services, Pre-audiology, Professional Counseling, Rehabilitation Services, School Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology
DeWitt School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Nursing (Post RN)
Kinesiology and Health Science Athletic Training, Health Science, Kinesiology
Social Work Social Work
Education Studies Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Teaching, Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs and Higher Education, Educational Leadership
College for Business Innovation Management and Marketing Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
Business Communication, Legal Studies, Economics and Finance Business Communication and Corporate Education, Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance, General Business
Schlief School of Accountancy Accounting
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, School Mathematics Teaching, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Information Technology

Demographic Data for the Four-college option

Sums (FY20 unless noted) College for Art, Culture and Communication College for Business Innovation College for Discovery, Environment and Life College for Humanity, Health and Learning
UG SCH Major* 29,636 20,640 18,015 57,971
UG SCH Non-major 73,226 42,923 27,565 17,224
UG SCH Total 102,862 63,563 45,580 75,195
GR SCH Major 2,500 1,572 1,311 17,984
GR SCH Non-major 277 1,500 405 577
GR SCH Total 2,777 3,072 1,716 18,561
Total (UG and GR) SCH 2,184 1,507 1,313 5,386
Major FTSE 4,905 2,987 1,871 11,96
Non-major FTSE 7,089 4,494 3,184 6,582
Total FTSE 11,994 7,480 5,055 7,778
UG Headcount 3,050 2,029 1,454 4,153
GR Headcount 221 152 148 1,001
Total (UG and GR) Headcount 3,270 2,181 1,602 5,154
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 131 68 70 97
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 134 42 23 184
Total Faculty Headcount 276 110 116 290
Instructional Faculty FTE 421 184 158 369
Average Teaching Load Credits (no TAs) 29 23 36 28
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty FTE 238 120 127 183
Non-Tenure Track Faculty FTE 185 66 31 187
Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE 9   22 5
FY21 Administrative Staff Headcount 19 9 19 25
FY21 Administrative Staff FTE 18 8 18 25
FY21 Staff Headcount 18 10 11 20
FY21 Staff FTE 18 10 11 20

*Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

Three-college option

Three-college option

Rationale and Examples

This option presents the greatest collision of intellectual capital and, despite reducing the number of colleges in half, may still be the most efficient and least disruptive to implement based on how the colleges have been combined. The basic principle here is to combine COSM with ATCOFA, COLAA with COFA, and PCOE with RCOB. Only two units (Human Sciences and Psychology) are moved away from their current affiliations. These new combinations could foster many novel collaborations.

Perceived Strengths

  • Second greatest potential cost-savings of any plan 
  • Clear groupings of the departments  
  • Each College would have a strong voice due to the size of each college 

Perceived Weaknesses

  • Challenging for accreditation 
  • Exacerbates current administrative frustrations felt by faculty over top-down management 
  • Faculty would have little access to deans of such large colleges 
  • Loss of autonomy 
  • While this reduces the number of deans, it could potentially lead to the feeling that there is a need for more middle management (larger groupings within the bigger colleges – like what the COE did in Education Studies) 
  • Human Services and Kinesiology may still feel that they are not in the "right" place if they stay with the professional educator prep group 
  • Trouble with binding areas together and developing a functional and united culture in each college   
  • Health sciences and communication remain scattered

Proposed Organization for the Three-college option

COLLEGE UNIT DEGREE PROGRAMS
College for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences School of Visual and Performing Arts Art, Art Education, Dance, Theatre, Mass Communication
School of Music Music
English and Creative Writing Creative Writing, English
Language, Cultures and Communication Communication Studies, Hispanic Studies, International and Intercultural Communication, Modern Languages
School of Human Societies Geography, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, Criminal Justice, National Security, Political Science, Public Administration, History, Military Science (minor, not degree program)
School of Human Sciences Construction Management, Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Foods and Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
Social Work Social Work
Multidisciplinary Programs Applied Arts and Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Publishing
College for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Biology, Chemistry and Physics Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering Physics, Physics
Psychology Psychology, Teaching College Social Sciences
Agriculture General Agriculture
Natural Resources Forestry, Geospatial Science, Resource Communications, Environmental Science, Geology
DeWitt School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Nursing (Post RN)
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, School Mathematics Teaching, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Information Technology
College for Business, Education and Innovation Management and Marketing Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
Business Communication, Legal Studies, Economics and Finance Business Communication and Corporate Education, Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance, General Business
Schlief School of Accountancy Accounting
Education Studies Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Teaching, Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs and Higher Education, Educational Leadership
School of Human Services Communication Science and Disorders, Human Services, Pre-audiology, Professional Counseling, Rehabilitation Services, School Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology
Kinesiology and Health Science Athletic Training, Health Science, Kinesiology

Demographic Data for the Three-college option

Sums (FY20 unless noted) College for Business, Education and Innovation College for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences College for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
UG SCH Major* 48,066 47,293 35,074
UG SCH Non-major 33,685 79,652 53,394
UG SCH Total 81,751 126,945 88,468
GR SCH Major 15,181 6,026 2,344
GR SCH Non-major 1,852 436 495
GR SCH Total 17,033 6,462 2,839
Total (UG and GR) SCH 4,492 3,655 2,536
Major FTSE 2,400 5,346 3,601
Non-major FTSE 6,892 9,002 6,137
Total FTSE 9,292 14,348 9,738
UG Headcount 3,902 3,973 3,208
GR Headcount 925 390 223
Total (UG and GR) Headcount 4,827 4,362 3,431
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 104 154 122
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Headcount 136 173 77
Total Faculty Headcount 249 338 222
Instructional Faculty FTE 323 503 334
Average Teaching Load Credits (no TAs) 25 29 32
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty FTE 202 276 214
Non-Tenure Track Faculty FTE 122 229 122
Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE 5 9 22
FY21 Administrative Staff Headcount 31 20 21
FY21 Administrative Staff FTE 30 19 20
FY21 Staff Headcount 21 22 17
FY21 Staff FTE 21 22 17

*Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

No-college option

No-college option

Rationale and Examples

This option is fundamentally different from the other three presented and represents the greatest amount of change. In this option, the responsibilities of the academic deans would be reassigned. Rather than being affiliated with a specific college, these responsibilities would be housed in the Office of the Provost and span across all academic units. The core responsibilities could be reallocated, for example, as follows:

  1. Assistant Provost of Personnel and Budget
  2. Assistant Provost of Marketing and Recruitment
  3. Assistant Provost of Development and Alumni
  4. Assistant Provost of Curriculum and Advising

The assistant provosts would provide guidance to the provost, but would not have direct supervisory roles over the chairs and directors. This would require significant restructuring in the Office of the Provost.

Proposed no-college organization: all academic department chairs would report directly to the provost's office

Figure 1. A schematic of SFA’s current organization compared to this option. Note the number of deans, chairs and assistant provosts is arbitrary in this figure and is only intended to illustrate the idea behind the option.

The remaining 20 academic units could be schools, divisions, or departments, retaining donor names on appropriate units. Multiple units would be able to operate in concert in some cases as required for accreditation. The Chairs and Directors Forum would become more important in ensuring the functioning of the academic affairs division. The elected chair of the forum could serve along with the associate and assistant provosts on the President’s Cabinet, providing an increased emphasis for the Academic Affairs division appropriate to an academic institution. That elected chair’s responsibilities in their academic unit would be filled for their term (one or two years) on an interim basis.

Collaboration between units would be more flexible, as it would require the agreement of two chairs, without necessitating approval of deans. This would reduce barriers to collaboration and remove a hierarchical level where protection of turf can occur. This could also facilitate interdisciplinary ‘tribes’ of faculty. For example, with the agreement of two chairs, a ‘food-to-table’ program could be created with agriculture and hospitality administration. Academic advising could be housed in each unit to build a sense of community with the students.

This arrangement could be considered a pilot project, and as units naturally begin collaborating with fewer administrative barriers, they could organically form larger units or even colleges. The process would be analogous to building sidewalks in places where footpaths have naturally sprung up.

Perceived Strengths

  • Potentially greatest cost-savings of any plan 
  • Flat structures are nimble compared to hierarchies
  • Improved communication (fewer links in the chain) 
  • Easier communication (two chairs agree, done) 
  • Clear what departments do 
  • Easy for students and faculty to find a unit 
  • Inter-personal collaboration among faculty 
  • Would work very well on a website and for marketing specific programs 
  • Strengthens role of chairs, who are in close contact with their faculty daily 
  • Faculty have more voice 
  • Breaks down rigid hierarchy 
  • Can layer marketing on top to create areas of interest, similar to the larger colleges in the four-college option 
  • Would make SFA Academic Affairs unique nationally in terms of innovation and leadership 
  • Degree programs are still run by same groups of faculty, don't need revamping 
  • Clearer decision making line – eliminates some of the "that's a department decision" no "that’s a college decision" etc. So that faculty know where decisions come from – currently it is often unclear who actually has the authority to make changes.
  • Forces question: "What are the roles of associate provost, dean and chair?" 
  • Structure may be most adaptable to create novel degree plans in a changing world, helping recruit students and ensuring them high employment rates
  • Will require change to entire university (also a weakness) 

 

Perceived Weaknesses

  • Too much work for chairs 
  • Recruitment, marketing not focused on each college 
  • Fundraising, alumni relations not focused on each college 
  • Other university offices would be impacted significantly (marketing, development) 
  • Tough job for provost; may need more associate provosts 
  • Departments only as strong as their chairs 
  • Loss of resources 
  • Easier to duplicate resources since we would not know what each department would have 
  • Alumni may identify more with colleges than departments 
  • Will require change to entire university (also a strength) 

Proposed Organization for the No-College Option

UNIT DEGREE PROGRAMS
School of Visual and Performing Arts Art, Art Education, Dance, Theatre, Mass Communication
School of Music Music
Language, Cultures and Communication Creative Writing, English, Communication Studies, Hispanic Studies, International and Intercultural Communication, Modern Languages
Multidisciplinary Programs Applied Arts and Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Studies, Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Publishing
Agriculture General Agriculture
Natural Resources Forestry, Geospatial Science, Resource Communications, Environmental Science, Geology
Biology, Chemistry and Physics Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering Physics, Physics
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, School Mathematics Teaching, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Information Technology
Management and Marketing Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Business
Business Communication, Legal Studies, Economics and Finance Business Communication And Corporate Education, Banking, Business Economics, Economics, Finance, General Business
Schlief School of Accountancy Accounting
Government Criminal Justice, National Security, Political Science, Public Administration,
School of Human Societies Geography, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, History, Military Science (minor, not degree program)
Psychology Psychology, Teaching College Social Sciences
Human Services and Mental Health Communication Science and Disorders, Human Services, Professional Counseling, School Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology
Social Work Social Work
Physical Health Sciences Athletic Training, Health Science, Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Pre-audiology
DeWitt School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, Nursing (Post RN)
School of Human Sciences Construction Management, Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Foods and Nutrition, Hospitality Administration, Human Sciences, Interior Design, Merchandising
Education Studies and Leadership Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Teaching, Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs and Higher Education, Educational Leadership

Demographic Data for the No-College Option

Sums (FY20 unless noted) UG SCH Major** UG SCH Non-major UG SCH Total GR SCH Major GR SCH Non-major GR SCH Total Total (UG and G) SCH Major FTSE Non-major FTSE Total FTSE UG Headcount GR Headcount Total (UG and GR) Headcount
School of Visual and Performing Arts 10,778 6,292 17,070 733 63 796 17,866 425 1,204 1,629 654 61 715
School of Music 8,074 4,877 12,951 836 19 855 13,806 327 935 1,261 429 48 477
Languages, Cultures and Communication 3,880 29,196 33,076 312 18 330 33,406 1,948 2,233 4,180 1,310 34 1,344
Multidisciplinary Programs 349 3,728 4,077 18 0 18 4,095 249 273 522 106 25 130
Agriculture 4,823 765 5,588 127 12 139 5,727 52 384 436 389 13 402
Natural Resources 6,610 5,476 12,086 1,023 184 1,207 13,293 380 909 1,289 431 103 534
Biology, Chemistry and Physics 6,582 21,324 27,906 161 209 370 28,276 1,439 1,891 3,330 634 32 666
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science 4,005 19,985 23,990 282 60 342 24,332 1,337 1,628 2,965 340 18 358
Management and Marketing 8,682 6,375 15,057 0 447 447 15,504 462 1,041 1,503 766 65 831
Business Communication, Legal Studies, Economics and Finance 5,382 13,563 18,945 0 972 972 19,917 985 1,344 2,329 702 10 712
Schlief School of Accountancy 2,571 3,000 5,571 1,290 21 1,311 6,882 202 481 682 221 59 280
Government 4,255 10,639 14,894 319 72 391 15,285 715 1,026 1,741 353 29 382
School of Human Societies 2,300 18,494 20,794 282 105 387 21,181 1,242 1,419 2,660 198 24 222
Psychology 4,171 5,793 9,964 184 24 208 10,172 388 682 1,070 397 16 413
Human Services and Mental Health*                          
Social Work 4,733 117 4,850 2,893 6 2,899 7,749 8 565 573 291 104 395
Physical Health Sciences* 18,981 6,916 25,897 7,520 253 7,773 33,670 482 2,384 2,866 823 54 877
DeWitt School of Nursing 8,883 51 8,934 567 6 573 9,507 4 643 647 1,017 41 1,058
School of Human Sciences 12,924 6,309 19,233 633 153 786 20,019 433 1,348 1,781 632 65 697
Education Studies and Leadership* 12,450 3,831 16,281 6,371 159 6,530 22,811 269 1,642 1,911 1,390 737 2,127
Special Advising 2 1,226 1,228 0 0 0 1,228 82 82 164      

*Data are incorrectly distributed among these three groups due to the recent reorganization of the Perkins College of Education.

**Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

Demographic Data for the No-College Option Continued

Sums (FY20 unless noted) Tenured** and TT Faculty Head Non-TT Faculty Head Total Faculty Head Instructional Faculty FTE Average TLC’s (no TAs) Tenured and TT Faculty FTE Non-TT Faculty FTE GTA FTE FY21 Admin Staff Head FY21 Admin Staff FTE FY21 Staff Head FY21 Staff FTE
School of Visual and Performing Arts 27 23 55 82 33 52 31 3 10 9 4 4
School of Music 29 33 62 97 37 57 40   4 4 1 1
Languages, Cultures and Communication 27 49 82 125 26 48 77 6 4 4 8 8
Multidisciplinary Programs 4 3 7 13 27 8 5       1 1
Agriculture 10 3 13 21 29 18 3   1 1 2 2
Natural Resources 23 9 44 51 39 43 8 12 9 9 3 3
Biology, Chemistry and Physics 37 11 59 86 35 66 20 10 9 9 6 6
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science 27 20 47 78 26 44 35       3 3
Management and Marketing 14 9 23 37 22 25 12       1 1
Business Communication, Legal Studies, Economics and Finance 20 8 28 50 21 38 12   9 8 5 5
Schlief School of Accountancy 7 5 12 19 24 13 7       1 1
Government 16 9 25 39 25 27 12       1 1
School of Human Societies 28 17 45 65 26 46 20 0 1 1 3 3
Psychology 14 3 17 28 27 24 4       1 1
Human Services and Mental Health*                        
Social Work 9 25 34 37 28 12 25       3 3
Physical Health Sciences* 33 47 89 118 29 68 50 5 2 2 2 2
DeWitt School of Nursing 11 31 42 70 26 19 52   2 2 2 2
School of Human Sciences 14 14 28 45 26 26 19   1 1 1 1
Education Studies and Leadership* 30 67 97 99 29 58 41   20 20 12 12
Special Advising 0 0 0                  

*Data are incorrectly distributed among these three groups due to the recent reorganization of the Perkins College of Education.

**Notes are included in appendix 1 explaining these data and all abbreviations.

Comparison of cost savings estimates

Methodology and Disclaimers

As the options presented are formative and will change further, it is not possible to provide exact cost savings data. Take these data with a grain of salt (figuratively, please). Here we describe the methodology used to estimate cost savings for each option and then present the summary data following. We recognize there are multiple ways to produce these estimates, and as we approach a more finalized organizational structure, it is anticipated that the budget office will produce a more accurate accounting of any possible cost savings.

The focus of these estimates is solely on the deans, associate deans, chairs and directors. Other administrative staff are not included, although their salaries and benefits are generally considerably lower than the administrative ranks included in this analysis. Thus while these data do not provide a complete accounting of academic affairs administration, they serve as a means of comparing the different options presented.

In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the six academic deans had a mean salary of $183,128. Using 30% to estimate fringe benefits, this would be $54,938, for a total estimate of $238,066 per dean per year.

In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the 11 academic associate deans had a mean salary of $136,261. Using 30% to estimate fringe benefits, this would be $40,878, for a total estimate of $177,139 per associate dean per year.

In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the 26 chairs and directors had a mean salary of $127,634. Using 30% to estimate fringe benefits, this would be $38,290, for a total estimate of $165,924 per chair or director per year.

We assumed that combining two departments would result in one chair or director returning to the faculty as a full professor. We also assumed that each associate dean no longer in that rank would return to the faculty as a full professor. Since two of the current six academic deans have taken the VSIP program, we did not assume that deans no longer in that rank would return to the faculty.

We estimated average full professor salaries for each current unit using the 2019-20 data from the Hanover Salary Study, based on CUPA-HR data. Based on this analysis, the mean nine-month salary of full professors was $87,752, given the disciplinary distribution of our current chairs and directors. Using 30% to estimate fringe benefits, this would be $26,326, for a total estimate of $114,078 per full professor.

We further assumed that associate deans were teaching a 1/0 load (one course per year, 0.125 FTE), but that chairs and directors were currently teaching a 1/1 load (two courses per year, 0.25 FTE), and returning to the faculty would result in them teaching a 4/4 load (1.0 FTE), eliminating the need for adjuncts to teach seven or six courses per year, respectively. In May 2018 the average adjunct at SFA was paid $2,636 to teach a course (data provided to Faculty Senate by the budget office). Hence an adjunct at 1.0 FTE teaching a 4/4 load would be paid $21,088 per year. We assumed no fringe benefits for adjuncts. Thus, each chair or director returning to the faculty replaces a 0.75 FTE adjunct, and each associate dean returning to the faculty replaces a 0.875 FTE adjunct.

All data presented below were calculated and then rounded to the nearest $1,000, as these estimates are not as precise as further digits would suggest. This was done to emphasize that these are only estimates. If numbers do not appear to total correctly, it is due to this rounding.

We believe these estimates should be interpreted as the maximum possible cost savings. Larger combined Colleges may require more associate deans, or may require division directors, reducing these savings. Administrators returning to the professoriate might have higher than average salaries for faculty at the full professor rank and may teach in the summer. The cost of making these administrative changes is also not included, which may initially offset some savings.

Again, as the options presented are formative and will change further, it is not possible to provide exact cost savings data.

Current SFA Estimated Administrative Costs

In the 2019-20 fiscal and academic year, our six academic deans’ salaries and fringe benefits cost $1,428,000 per year. Our 11 associate deans cost $1,949,000 per year. Our 26 chairs and directors, including vacant positions and those filled in an interim role, cost $4,314,000 per year. The total is $7,691,000 per year for these 43 positions.

Position Number Mean Salary Mean Benefits (30% Fringe) Mean Salary and Benefits Estimated Total Cost
Dean 6 $183,000 $55,000 $238,000 $1,428,000
Associate Dean 11 $136,000 $41,000 $177,000 $1,949,000
Chair or Director 26 $128,000 $38,000 $166,000 $4,314,000
Total 43 $447,000 $134,000 $581,000 $7,691,000

Comparison of Estimated Cost Savings for Five-, Four- and Three-College Options

As would be expected, reducing to fewer colleges increases the cost savings. Estimated cost savings per year is $739,000 with five colleges, $1,141,000 with four colleges and $1,528,000 with three colleges. Each option is presented with either 20 or 21 departments, the same as shown in the examples outlined in this document.

  Five-college option Four-college option Three-college option
Position FTE Cost FTE Cost FTE Cost
Dean 5 $1,190,000 4 $952,267 3 $714,201
Associate Dean 9 $1,594,000 7 $1,239,978 6 $1,062,838
Chair or Director 21 $3,484,000 21 $3,484,409 20 $3,318,485
Professor (Former Asso Dean) 2 $228,000 4 $456,311 5 $570,389
Professor (Former Chair) 5 $570,000 5 $570,389 6 $684,467
Change in Adjuncts -5.5 -$116,000 -7.25 -$152,888 -8.875 -$187,156
Total (current cost = $7,691,000)   $6,952,000   $6,550,467   $6,163,224
Estimated Cost Savings   $739,000   $1,141,000   $1,528,000

No-College Option Estimated Cost Savings

This plan creates far more uncertainty in estimating cost, as it would require a more significant restructuring across the university. As such we provide a separate cost estimate, including a range. We created two scenarios that assumed that the Provost’s office would be restructured.

In scenario one, one associate provosts and four assistant provosts are needed to staff the Provost’s office, reflecting a leaner administrative apparatus.

In scenario two, four associate provosts and six assistant provosts are needed to staff the Provost’s office, reflecting a more expansive administrative apparatus.

The associate provosts’ salaries are at $150,000, with a 30% fringe benefit of $45,000, for a total of $195,000. This is in line with the 2019-20 budget for this position at SFA. The assistant provosts were projected with a salary of $135,000, in line with our current associate deans. This results in a 30% fringe benefit of $40,500, for a total of $175,500.

In all cases it is assumed that there will be 20 departments and that all current associate deans will return to the faculty ranks. The preceding analyses did not consider adding or removing positions from the provost’s office. However this option does consider adding positions to the provost’s office. We excluded our current associate provost from this analysis, as we assume that position will remain filled in either scenario.

Scenario One: One associate provost and four assistant provosts staff the provost’s office. The associate provost line has been entered as a zero, since SFA currently has a serving associate provost, and this would not change. This results in a cost savings of $2,011,000.

Position Number of FTEs Mean Salary Mean Benefits (30% Fringe) Mean Salary and Benefits Total SFA Expenditure
Dean 0 $183,000 $55,000 $238,000 $0
Associate Dean 0 $136,000 $41,000 $177,000 $0
Associate Provost 0 $150,000 $45,000 $195,000 $0
Assistant Provost 4 $135,000 $45,000 $180,000 $720,000
Chair or Director 20 $128,000 $38,000 $166,000 $3,318,000
Professor (Former Asso Dean) 11 $88,000 $26,000 $114,000 $1,255,000
Professor (Former Chair) 6 $88,000 $26,000 $114,000 $684,000
Change in Adjuncts -14.125 $21,000 $0 $21,000 -$298,000
Total         $5,678,000

Scenario Two: Four associate provosts and six assistant provosts staff the provost’s office. Only three associate provosts are listed in this table, since SFA currently has a serving associate provost, and this would not change. This results in a cost savings of $1,066,000.

Position Number of FTEs Mean Salary Mean Benefits (30% Fringe) Mean Salary and Benefits Total SFA Expenditure
Dean 0 $183,000 $55,000 $238,000 $0
Associate Dean 0 $136,000 $41,000 $177,000 $0
Associate Provost 3 $150,000 $45,000 $195,000 $585,000
Assistant Provost 6 $135,000 $45,000 $180,000 $1,080,000
Chair or Director 20 $128,000 $38,000 $166,000 $3,318,000
Professor (Former Asso Dean) 11 $88,000 $26,000 $114,000 $1,255,000
Professor (Former Chair) 6 $88,000 $26,000 $114,000 $684,000
Change in Adjuncts -14.125 $21,000 $0 $21,000 -$298,000
Total         $6,625,000

Based on this simplistic analysis, the manner in which the no-college option is implemented would dictate the level of cost savings. It could result in the greatest savings of any of these options or rank among the least savings, comparable to a five-college option. This analysis also did not include potential cost savings that may be realized in other university divisions, e.g., if the provost’s office is able to handle more tasks related to marketing or development for academic affairs than is currently possible.

Appendix 1: Definitions & Demographic Data Notes

Term Definition
ATCOFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
COFA College of Fine Arts
COLAA College of Liberal and Applied Arts
COSM College of Sciences and Mathematics
PCOE James I. Perkins College of Education
RCOB Nelson Rusche College of Business
UG SCH Major undergraduate semester credit hours for students in the major
UG SCH Non-major undergraduate semester credit hours for students not in the major
UG SCH Total total undergraduate semester credit hours
GR SCH Major graduate semester credit hours for students in the major
GR SCH Non-major graduate semester credit hours for students not in the major
GR SCH Total total graduate semester credit hours
Total (UG and G) SCH total (undergraduate and graduate, major and non-major) semester credit hours
Major FTSE full-time student equivalents (15 semester credit hours per semester for undergraduate students, 12 for master’s, and 9 for doctoral) reported for an entire academic year (fall 2019, spring 2020, summer 2020)
Non-major FTSE full-time student equivalents for students not in the major
Total FTSE full time student equivalents for all students
UG Headcount undergraduate student headcount
GR Headcount graduate student headcount
Total (UG and GR) Headcount total (undergraduate and graduate) student headcount
Instructional Faculty FTE full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE = a 4/4 teaching load)
Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE Only TAs listed as instructors of record are included

Notes on Data Presented

Staff data presented includes the positions of assistant to dean, administrative assistant, secretary and accounting clerk. Administrative staff includes all other positions (for example: dean, associate dean, academic advisors and program directors/coordinators with exempt or non-exempt position). Chairs were included in faculty headcounts. For all data, only academic units are considered; sub-departments are not counted (for example: Soil Lab, Charter School and Early Childhood Laboratory). For the School of Music, accompanists are included in the staff category. For COSM, lab coordinators are not included, with the exception of Dewitt School of Nursing. Military Science majors do not exist, but students may minor in the field; Military Science faculty are employed by the military, but some support staff are employed by SFA. Special Advising is a placeholder unit for courses such as Freshman Seminar (SFA 101) and Transfer Success courses (SFA 301). The Natural Sciences degree program utilizes course delivery from other disciplines, currently has 12 graduate students and was included with one of the COSM units, although it is not listed.

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