Regents Approve Academic Program Restructuring Proposals

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved two academic restructuring proposals to reduce administrative costs and position academic programs in related areas to imagine and innovate new courses, options and programs to benefit students.

The Board approved dissolving the Department of Modern Languages, Anthropology and Geography, and merging it into two existing departments, creating the Department of History and Anthropology and the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages.

The Regents also approved merging the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology with the Department of Social Work to create a new Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology.

Both restructurings will take effect July 1, 2018.

Department of History and Anthropology and Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages

The plan to create the Department of History and Anthropology and the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages will reduce approximately $61,000 in administrative costs while retaining the same number of faculty lines and continuing the current degree programs, said Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost. The primary difference involves a change in administrative oversight for these new units. The new configuration reduces both the number of department chairs and administrative assistants from three to two.

The approved proposals followed the Faculty Handbook process for major academic restructuring, Kunkel said, and was unanimously endorsed at the department and college levels, as well as by the University Studies Council, Graduate Council, Academic Council, Southeast President Carlos Vargas and Kunkel.

Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology

The plan to create the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology also will reduce base-budget administrative costs by approximately an additional $61,000 without losing instructional positions or academic programs, thus maintaining the quality of the student experience and opportunities, Kunkel said. The number of faculty lines will remain the same and current accreditation of the social work program will continue. He said all current degree programs will remain in place, students will take the same courses and keep the same academic advisor and student opportunities coming from earning degrees in these areas will remain consistent.

Like the first proposal, the primary difference involves a change in administrative oversight for this new unit. The new configuration reduces both the number of department chairs and administrative assistants from two to one.

The approved proposal followed the Faculty Handbook process for major academic restructuring, Kunkel said, and was endorsed by Dr. Hamner Hill, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Academic Council, Southeast President Carlos Vargas and Kunkel.

Human Resources has developed a process for selection of chairs and administrative assistants for the newly merged units, he said.