EIU board OK's academic reorganization

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WAND)- Eastern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve a plan reorganizing the university’s academic programs.

The realignment plan, part of a two-year revitalization effort, combines some of the university’s colleges and departments but does not cut jobs, school officials said. Among the changes:

  • Create a new College of Health and Human Services, housing the new Department of Human Services and Community Leadership, comprising Communication Disorders and Sciences, Family and Community Services programs and related teacher education programs, Health Promotion, Kinesiology/Recreation Administration, Military Science, and the Dietetics and RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs.
  • Combine and rename the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Sciences to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which will house the new unified School of Communication and Journalism and a new School of the Arts (Music, Art and Design*, and Theatre), alongside the Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geology/Geography, English, Foreign Language, History, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology/Anthropology/Criminal Justice departments.
  • Rename the College of Education and Professional Studies to the College of Education, which will include the renamed School of Extended Learning (Bachelor of General Studies program, Lifelong Learning, and Non-Credit programming); the Office of Education and Student Services; and the Counseling and Student Development, Educational Leadership, Special Education, and the Teaching, Learning and Foundation departments.
  • Eliminate the Center for Academic Technology Services and reassign staff to ITS, Web Services, and the FDIC based on area of expertise.

Administrators hope the changes will improve enrollment, which has slumped in recent years.

Students enroll at universities that have outstanding programs, and that's what we have here at Eastern,” said provost Jay Gatrell. “This is a way to organize and celebrate what we're already doing, but also create a foundation for new programs to develop, whether that's in health and human services, business and technology, education, or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences." 

Board chair Timothy Burke said the school is expecting an increase in the number of incoming freshmen this fall.

“The freshman enrollment is up 29 percent for this fall,” Burke said. “That is a huge improvement.”

Also during the meeting, university President David Glassman announced plans to raise the pay of administrative and professional staff and civil service employees at the university by one percent.

“That one percent increase has been part of the developed budget proposal that was submitted today and reviewed by the Board of Trustees,” Glassman said. “The trustees have provided their support in this endeavor for us to move forward with that.”