By Joe Wilson —
Interim Provost Gerry Bradley is acting on his promise to restructure the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). Bradley announced on Feb. 28 that the A&S Strategic Planning Committee would begin meeting this week. The first meeting took place Mar. 4.
The A&S Strategic Planning Committee is a new task force intended to plan and implement structural changes to the College of Arts and Sciences. While the objectives of the committee are still unclear, members plan to talk through their ideas of reorganizing A&S. After these preliminary discussions, the committee will circulate a report of the proposed changes to A&S Faculty. The committee hopes to present its final plan to the upcoming Faculty Assembly meeting.
The announcement included the names of the A&S faculty members who have been chosen to serve on the committee:
- Avery Kolers – College elected faculty member
- Natalie Polzer – College elected faculty member
- Glynis Ridley – College elected faculty member
- Aaron Rollins – College elected faculty member
- David Schultz – College elected faculty member
- Matthew Church – College elected staff member
- Danielle Dolan – College elected staff member
- Craig Grapperhaus – Dean appointed faculty member
- Latricia Best – Dean appointed faculty member
- Edna Ross – Dean appointed faculty member
- Juli Wagner – Dean appointed staff member
- Brandon McCormack – Provost appointed faculty member
- Karen Freberg – Provost appointed faculty member
- Ann Hall – Provost appointed faculty member
- Rick Graycarek – Provost appointed staff member
- David Owen – Ex officio member
- Douglas Craddock – Ex officio member
- Sarah Lopez – Ex officio member
- Ian Norris – Ex officio member
The selection of committee members comes roughly a month after Bradley first announced the creation of the A&S Strategic Planning Committee. Elections were originally scheduled to occur on Feb. 3. However, after A&S faculty balked at the rapid election process the provost delayed the formation of the committee until now.
Bradley’s efforts to restructure A&S have generated controversy among faculty and staff. Several A&S faculty members have expressed fears that the restructure will result in the reduction of departments in the college.
Outside organizations have also expressed concerns over the new committee. The United Campus Workers of Kentucky (UCW), a group that represents campus workers from across the state, sent out an open letter that criticized the committee. In the letter, UCW demanded that there be no staffing, instructional or departmental cuts as part of the restructuring. UCW also demanded that departments not be combined, additional funding is provided to A&S and that if cuts must be made, they should be made first to upper executive salaries and unnecessary capital projects.
The letter read in part, “We call upon the UofL community, including faculty, staff, students, and other community members who have an interest in maintaining a vibrant and diverse community at UofL, to join us in demanding that restructuring efforts prioritize the stability of jobs, workloads, and well-being of current staff and faculty. This will translate into a more resilient employee base that can better serve our students, in keeping with the Cardinal Community of Care and Accountability principles.”
The provost’s office plans to send updates regarding the committee’s progress in the coming weeks.
Logo Courtesy // U of L College of Arts and Sciences