Regents Approve Major Academic Reorganization


Five academic colleges will comprise Southeast Missouri State University beginning Aug. 1, 2018, following a major comprehensive reorganization of colleges and departments across Academic Affairs.

The restructuring – the result of an extensive process – was approved today by the Southeast Board of Regents, bringing to a close a process that began last October. The reorganization is the result of significant budget reductions and the need to realign academic programs with commonality in nature and purpose creating synergies that are believed better serve students. All accreditations, current courses, options and programs are maintained under the new alignment.

Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, offered his appreciation to the campus for their purpose and patience demonstrated throughout this extensive and far-reaching reorganization.

“I would like to thank every one of our faculty and staff members, along with our students – those who have attended forums, emailed me, called me and stopped by — to offer their thoughtful and heartfelt input, recommendations and concerns throughout this lengthy process. We carefully evaluated every proposal,” he said. “While we continue to operate in very difficult times and higher education funding in Missouri will remain a challenge, I continue to believe, as I have said on many occasions, that Southeast Missouri State will emerge a stronger, more focused and nimble university under the new structure. While a reorganization can create uncertainties, I am buoyed by the collegiality and mutual respect demonstrated throughout this process and am certain it will continue to effect positive change on this campus as we move forward.

“With any change of this magnitude, there is much work to be done over the summer to prepare for the fall 2018 semester under this new structure,” Vargas said. “While reporting structures and processes may change, I am confident our commitment to serving students will be stronger than ever.”

The reorganization will establish the following five colleges:

  • College of Education, Health and Human Studies
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Harrison College of Business and Computing
  • Holland College of Arts and Media

The process began in October with a Provost’s Open Forum. From October to January, several reorganization idea drafts were shared by Provost Karl Kunkel with feedback encouraged with the release of each draft. Nearly 80 written statements were received in an email account established for feedback, and about 100 meetings involving various individuals and groups were conducted.

In keeping with the institution’s process for academic restructuring, a proposal was initiated by Kunkel on Jan. 19 during the first week of spring 2018 classes. Reviews were conducted from January through April by academic departments, college councils, deans and interim deans, the University Studies Council, Graduate Council, Academic Council and Provost Kunkel, who also delivered presentations on the topic to Student Government. Based on these reviews, Kunkel made a recommendation to President Vargas on April 5.

To foster further dialogue, enhance transparency and seek additional input, Vargas then conducted additional open forums on April 18 and 19. He posted the materials online, established an online feedback link and conducted multiple meetings with various deans, interim deans, chairpersons, faculty and others to seek additional input.

Under the new structure, the alignment of departments, some newly configured, will be as follows:

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

  • Department of Child and Family Studies
  • Department of Communication Disorders
  • Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education
  • Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation
  • Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education
  • Department of Nursing
  • Department of Psychology and Counseling

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages
  • Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology
  • Department of English
  • Department of History and Anthropology
  • Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion

College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Chemistry and Physics
  • Department of Engineering and Technology
  • Department of Mathematics 

Harrison College of Business and Computing

  • Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing

Holland College of Arts and Media

  • Department of Art and Design
  • Department of Mass Media
  • Department of Music
  • Conservatory of Theatre and Dance

The Budget Office estimates cost savings of approximately $634,000 resulting from this academic reorganization, which will take effect Aug. 1, 2018.