SIUC Chancellor Unveils Reorganization Plan to Faculty

Oct 19, 2017

SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno presented his academic reorganization plan Thursday to the university's faculty.

The chancellor says his proposal involves restructuring the school's current offering of eight colleges with 42 departments and schools to five colleges and 18 schools, including law and medicine. The chancellor's proposed reorganization plan involves moving programs into schools, eliminating departments.

Montemagno says faculty have a unique opportunity to define their programs so they will be distinctive and relevant to today's students.

"Faculty in the schools will have the ultimate decisions about whether programs stay the same, whether they are updated due to opportunities created by bring programs together, and whether new programs are added."

Faculty Association President Dave Johnson says while the chancellor claims he welcomes input from professors, he seems to have made a lot of decisions already.

"He's decided on eliminating departments. He's decided on what the college structure will be. Although today he may have said things a little bit differently, he seems to have basically decided on the school structure too."

SIU-Carbondale's enrollment dropped nearly nine percent this fall to 14,554.

Chancellor Montemagno says turning the enrollment free-fall around quickly is critical. Montemagno says his goal is to grow the enrollment to 18,300 students by the year 2025.

"A lower target will affect our capacity to be a comprehensive institution. A higher target risks our ability to provide a personalized educational experience."

Bret Sefarian with the Illinois Education Association says he doesn't understand how the chancellor's reorganization plan will boost enrollment by moving programs into schools, eliminating departments.

"I don't want to say he's off his rocker. I'm just saying I don't understand, from this presentation, why he thinks that. He might be right. But, I don't know why he thinks that."

Sefarian says he believes students - especially minorities - are more concerned about a welcoming environment than the academic structure. Montemagno says they can be related.

The chancellor assured the campus community there will be no layoffs of faculty or staff tied to the reorganization.

"While the reorganization will generate savings to reinvest in our people and programs, the goal is to reenergize and update our programs, advance our research enterprise and grow enrollment and reputation."

Amy Ruffing is President of the Association of Civil Service Employees at SIUC. She says her constituency is pleased about the talk of no layoffs...but there are still of lot of unknowns.

"I think a lot of people will be moved around with elimination of departments, development of schools, things like that. I'm not sure how that will work out."

Ruffing says civil service workers deserve a chance to make their opinions known.

To see a detailed breakdown of Montemagno's proposal, visit the website chancellor.siu.edu/vision 2025.