The dissolution of the former department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures occurred at around the same time that the college it was a part of, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, embarked on a path towards larger organizational change.
“This is my final year as dean,” explained Lynn Kuzma, dean of the CAHS. She said that when the year began, she’d asked the faculty of the college what they would like to work on for the rest of her time at USM. Kuzma said the faculty expressed interest in pursuing a large-scale reorganization of the college.
“I admire her for taking this on at the end of her tenure,” said Professor Alan Kaschub, director of the school of music and member of the ad hoc committee which is working on plans to reorganize the department.
The committee is scheduled to meet seven times throughout the remainder of the spring semester, and to present the plan they have developed to the rest of the college on May 16, where it will be voted on by the college faculty and either approved for implementation or not.
“I’m not going to force the faculty to do anything. The provost might,” Kuzma said, explaining that within the process she is supervising, the faculty can approve or deny reorganization plans, but the provost has the authority to make the ultimate decision.
When asked whether he would choose to reorganize the department if the CAHS faculty chose to reject the reorganization plan in May, Provost Michael Stevenson told the Free Press, “I remain hopeful that the college will propose a good plan. I understand they are having productive discussions. I await news from the Dean about these deliberations before considering whether other options should be explored.”
“I think any plans this committee makes now, either definite or vague, are going to be enormously useful,” Kaschub said.
The driving force behind plans to reorganize the CAHS is part of the same motivation which drove the dissolving of the department of modern and classical languages and literatures earlier in the year, an excess of administration for a shrinking faculty population.
“We have too many [department] chairs for the number of faculty members,” Kuzma explained. She said that there are 15 department heads in the CAHS, and approximately 100 faculty members and that approximately 40 percent of the departments comprised of four faculty members or less.
“I think it’s for the health of the college,” Kuzma said.