Restructuring to benefit students, dean says

Starlight Williams

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Loyola’s decision to restructure its colleges has left many wondering exactly what is going to happen to students during the transition.

By the fall of 2016, the new model announced by Marc Manganaro, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will dissolve the College of Social Sciences, combining its undergraduate programs with those of the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences to create a new College of Arts and Sciences.  The former graduate programs within the College of Social Sciences will be combined into a new College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Maria Calzada, future dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that even though the number of colleges has decreased, students will have more opportunities in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“There will be no negative effect for students currently enrolled in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences. Both our current students and the students from the College of Social Sciences should see expanded opportunities,” Calzada said.

Calzada said these opportunities include an increase in faculty interactions between the current College of Humanities and Natural Sciences and the College of Social Sciences, which will lead to new learning experiences for students.

“Faculty interactions between the disciplines in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences and the programs that will join us will result, I think, in excellent experiential learning opportunities for the students,” Calzada said.

Calzada also stated that the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences’ priorities in Loyola’s new strategic plan and capital campaign could mean more funding for undergraduate research and other activities.

Roger White, interim dean of the College of Social Sciences, said that all social science students will be able to continue their education without major disruptions.

“My primary objective while I serve as Interim Dean of the College of Social Sciences is to insure continuity of service for all of our students, both graduate and undergraduate.  With this in mind, I work with each program to make sure this continuity occurs at each point of service, whether graduate or undergraduate,” White said.

Social science students like Shawn Kelly, sociology sophomore, are generally accepting of the change as long as students within the College of the Social Science will retain the same benefits or receive more.

“I’m OK with it as long as the sociology department still gets the care and money it had while in the College of Social Sciences,” Kelly said.

Krista Toups, psychology junior, said that while she does not fully understand the restructuring system, she is fine with the transition.

“I’m unclear about the clarity of the situation; however, it is not going to affect me, so I don’t have an issue. As long as the uncertainty is cleared and it is definite that there will be benefits, I can’t say I would be totally against it,” Toups said.

Calzada said she believes that merging the two schools will be a good opportunity  for positive growth.

“We are very much looking forward to students and faculty from the College of Social Sciences joining the restored college of Arts and Sciences. We see much potential for collaborations, program building and creativity in the new structure,” Calzada said.

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