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Restructuring Plan Officially in Effect

By Anastasiia Vorobeva
On September 7, 2017

Concord University finalized its plans for restructure.  
Photo Courtesy of Concord University

Coming back this fall, students found out that Concord reorganized its structure having departments mixed and matched into three colleges—the College of Professional Studies, the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and the College of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Health, replacing the old concept of divisions. 

    The idea to change the school structure had been discussed for a while, but it was done overnight this summer. Dr. Peter Viscusi, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said that before the transformation Concord was structured as a college, which did not match its status of university. 

    Dr. Viscusi thinks that the new structure allows the school to improve communication between the administration and departments. With the change, each of three colleges now has its own dean who works with three or four department chairs within their college, allowing the deans to devote more attention to individual needs of each department as opposed to the old system where the school was divided into six divisions, and divisions were further split into departments, all of which reported to Dr. Viscusi. 

    Originally, Concord was planning to hire new people for college deans, but due to the high costs of taking on new executive level employees, it was decided to have Dr. Peter Viscusi, Dr. Cheryl Barnes, and Dr. Kathryn Liptak as Interim Deans until the budget allowed for new hires. 

    Dr. Viscusi, whose title changed to Provost from Academic Dean after the restructuring, now is also the Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, which unites the Department of Fine Arts, Department of Humanities, and the Department of Social Sciences. 

    Dr. Barnes, Associate Provost, acts as the Interim Dean of the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Health, which includes the Department of Biology; the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Athletic Training; the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; and the Department of Physical Sciences. 

    Dr. Liptak, Assistant Provost and Director of University Assessment, serves as the Interim Dean for the College of Professional Studies, which is made up of the Department of Business and Recreation & Tourism Management; the Department of Communication Arts; the Department of Education; and the Department of Social Work and Sociology. 

    Presently, the new school structure does not have a financial impact on the school. 

    The school administration hopes to use the benefits of the new organizational system to bring more attention to specific programs, as the department chairs and deans of colleges can concentrate on the needs of particular programs. 

    Although the school’s new structure fits its university’s status, there is a certain level of skepticism among staff concerning the benefits of the change. “A year ago everybody knew who to talk to. I don’t know if the situation is any better now than it was before. In fact, it might be more confusing,” says Concord professors. “At the moment it is more confusing because it is a new system. I am not sure if in a year or so, when we have it finally figured out, that it’s going to be any significant improvement over the old system.”


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