Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 7 

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Broken pipe cuts merger to be completed May 2001

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HFAC, Social Sciences merger to be completed May 2001

Reports from 14 committees will help create a new program for the future College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, created through the impending merger of two existing colleges.

By Miriam A. Garcia
Senior Staff Writer

The merger of the College of Social Sciences and the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communications will be completed in May of 2001.

UH faculty members are compiling 14 reports of the colleges to create a coherent program for what will be called the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said Andrew Achenbaum, HFAC dean and school of Social Sciences acting dean, who was also appointed dean under the joint colleges.

Once the Coordinating Board votes on the merger, the decisions recommended by the 14 committees will be implemented next fall semester, Achenbaum said.

"That provides us with some time to allow faculty and students and staff to work on a whole set of committees to talk about administrative issues, which this college is going to face," Achenbaum said.

"My hope is that by getting the collective wisdom, that we will be in a better position to create a good college," he said.

An executive summary of the compiled reports will be presented to faculty chairs and directors in November and will be submitted to faculty members by next May.

"By next May, we will have consistent policies across the colleges," Achenbaum said.

One of a number of changes students will be affected by is a longer length in commencement ceremonies.

Issues that must be decided on include promotion and tenure, developing research space, alumni, budget, graduate programs, research, undergraduate and graduate life, core curriculum, fundraising special programs, space and commencements.

Students enrolled under the current programs will not see changes in the core curriculum requirements.

Only students who enter the program as of July 2001 will be affected, Achenbaum said.

As the committees make recommendations toward the new school's priorities, Achenbaum said tenure, promotion and budget issues will be decided separately this year under each college's needs.

"That will remain independent this year. Once the college decides where its priorities are (budget issues) will then be decided as a unified college this time next year," Achenbaum said.

"We're going to spend this year getting to know each other and then spend money together," he said.

Richard Rozelle, former dean of the school of Social Sciences, is on a leave of absence for a year and will return to the psychology department next year, according to Achenbaum.

About 7,500 students were enrolled in the colleges during the 1999-2000 school year with budgets totaling $24 million.

The merger will offer savings that will be placed back into academic programs in the new college, said Edward Sheridan, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, at a recent UH System Board of Regents meeting.

Achenbaum said faculty chairs are making recommendations for programs like urban studies and Cognitive Science Initiative to take on greater visibility and multiculturalism to provide better assistance for students.

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