USM took another step in the reorganization process when it appointed deans to the three new colleges, but the only time a student might notice a change is if they get an e-mail for making Dean’s List.
The three new colleges are a result of consolidating six of the university’s schools and colleges, a decision officials say will save the university $1.3 million a year.
The August announcement of the three new deans came after the Board of Trustees approved the university’s plan to reorganize the university’s eight schools and colleges into a five-college model. Two of the colleges, Lewiston-Auburn College and University of Maine School of Law, remained unchanged at the dean level. The new three colleges have been named, but the names aren’t finalized. Interim Provost John Wright said they would have the names finalized before the end of the semester.
Wright was named interim provost after Kate Forhan stepped down at the end of May.
Jim Shaffer has been appointed as the dean of the College of Public Service, Business, Graduate Education and Social Work. Shaffer was previously serving USM as the chief operating officer and as dean of the School of Business.
Andrew Anderson has been appointed as the dean of the College of Engineering, Health Professions, Nursing, Science and Technology. Anderson was the associate dean of the School of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology for the past 10 years.
Lynn Kuzma has been appointed as the dean of the College of Communication, Culture and the Arts. Lynn was previously chair and associate professor of political science.
The dean search committees were made up of faculty, professional staff, classified staff and students. “We did not choose the deans. We were charged with establishing the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate,” said Ashley Willems-Phaneuf, student body president and member of the College of Communication, Culture and the Arts dean search committee.
Wright said he and USM President Selma Botman then chose the candidate who they thought would best lead each college.
Students shouldn’t be impacted by these changes, said Wright, as the academic changes are more likely to happen next year, although anyone already in a program will not be affected.
“What I think is going to have a huge impact on students is the result of the reorganization,” said Craig Hutchinson, chief student affairs officer. “I think the reorganization will result in more interdisciplinarity between academic programs than there is now.”
“I’ve been encouraged with a number of faculty members who’ve come forward with new programs,” said Shaffer. “The Muskie faculty have proposed making a master in non-profit management.” It’s an idea, he said, that would draw on resources from the School of Business and also could interest education and social work students.
“If you’re a school, you can stay a school,” said Wright. He said departments will be able to go to their respective deans to request they become a college. However, right now it’s a matter of identifying how the colleges be led. “The new colleges are now internally searching for associate and assistant deans.”
Anderson and Kuzma’s appoints are for two years, but Shaffer’s is for one.
“President Botman had told [the College of Public Service, Business, Graduate Education and Social Work] that they would have a chance to do a national search,” said Wright.
The college will look for a new dean for the 2011 to 2012 academic year.
Shaffer said he has entered his name as a candidate for the national search but wouldn’t want to take the job only if the search failed. “If the search committee determines I’m the best candidate then I’d be pleased,” said Shaffer.
Wright said over the last few weeks they’ve been getting the new colleges’ offices up and running. Shaffer moved into Wishcamper Center last week, Kuzma will be in the same location as the College of Arts and Sciences dean and Anderson will be in the John Michell Center.