Gearing up for change

University Senate recommends new academic structure

Alex Kennon

The University Senate voted last week to send their first proposed model for academic structuring onward to Provost Manganaro.

Manganaro will consult with University President the Rev. Father Kevin Wildes, S.J. before they take the recommendation onward to the October Board of Trustees meeting for approval.

A 75 percent majority of the University Senate voted to recommend the first model that is outlined in the Senate report titled “Models for the Reorganization of Loyola University New Orleans.”

Like Loyola’s present structure, the approved model includes five colleges and a library.

The model includes a College of Business and a College of Law, like the university’s current school structure. New colleges that will be formed are a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a College of Music, Media, and the Arts.

Robert Thomas, professor and director of the Center for Environmental Communication, said that he spoke for the “vast majority” of Mass Communication faculty when he argued that merging the School of Mass Communication with the current College of Music and Fine Arts would hinder the school, particularly in light of its recent accreditation.

“It took us 2 solid years of a lot of data and analysis, so we aren’t taking this frivolously,” Thomas said. “We ask the administration, and we’ve asked our colleagues to reexamine this plan and to reevaluate where they’re going to put us.”

Following Thomas’ statement, Janna Saslaw, music professor, proposed an amendment to the model that would allow the School of Mass Communication to become an independent unit rather than being merged with the new College of Music, Media, and the Arts.

Barbara Ewell, English professor, argued that while many programs have the potential to flourish as independent units, in the interest of consolidation the structure should be recommended as it stands.

“Schools and colleges at this university are more or less parallel, and what we’d be doing basically is creating an additional college,” Ewell said. “And I really resist that. I think we need to have a structure of colleges with schools included within them.”

The amendment was voted down by a 73 percent majority, though Manganaro reminded the Senate that the structure may still be altered prior to implementation.

“There are a lot of moveable parts that we will work to resolve over time,” Manganaro said. “There’s not an expectation that we’re going to necessarily settle all those specifics and bring those to the board, but bringing the basic model is extremely important.”

Manganaro stressed the importance of timeliness in finalizing the structure to allow for implementation as soon as possible.

“Because as we get through to the middle of this academic year, we’ll be looking at this implementation in the fall of ‘17,” Manganaro said. “This is my big concern.”

Manganaro said approving a structure for recommendation has been at minimum a 15-month process that is still ongoing.