College merger report goes to provost

The six-member faculty committee charged with recommending whether the College of Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts should be merged into a single College of Arts and Sciences sent its report and recommendation to the office of the provost and the president’s office just before Thanksgiving.

John Paznokas, chair of the committee, referred all questions regarding the recommendation to the provost’s office. Provost Robert Bates said earlier this week that he had not yet had time to review the document and was not ready to release it.

Ken Struckmeyer, chair of the Faculty Senate, said he can see arguments on both sides. If merging the colleges resulted in more interdisciplinary collaboration, that would be a benefit. But, he said, the current organization of colleges does not block collaboration and a new structure would not necessarily encourage it. Instead, he said, interdisciplinary collaboration would be boosted by more faculty incentives, which can be put in place regardless of college structure.

Among PAC-10 universities, only Oregon State University and the University of Arizona have separate colleges for liberal arts and for sciences. Arizona State University has both a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Among WSU’s 22 peer institutions, 17 have a college of arts and sciences. Twelve of the peer institutions are AAU institutions, and nine of those have a college of arts and sciences.

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