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Magazine On-line [summer 2012]
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Programs retained in new division lineup

A reconfiguration of Transylvania’s academic divisions has resulted in four divisions instead of six, but five academic programs in the two eliminated divisions have been retained.

Accounting, business administration, and economics are now part of the Social Sciences Division. Education has been assigned to the Humanities Division, and exercise science is now part of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The fourth remaining division is Fine Arts, which now includes writing, rhetoric, and communication.

“We are streamlining the academic administration of the college so that we reduce the number of committees faculty members have to serve on,” said President R. Owen Williams. “This will give them more time for teaching and scholarship.”

Interim vice president and dean of the college Kathleen Jagger said the new alignment better reflects Transylvania’s liberal arts mission and also puts the university more in line with its peer institutions.

“We examined other institutions and found in many cases we had more divisions than our peers,” she said. “This suggested that there are more efficient ways to structure our academics. Our four divisions align precisely with the four different approaches to learning in a liberal arts environment designated in our general education curriculum. Thus, we expect all students will graduate having taken at least one course in each division.”

Accounting professor Judy Jones looks forward to the advantages of being in a larger division.

“Formerly, we were such a small division that it was a struggle to staff all the faculty and ad hoc committees,” she said. “Now that we are part of a larger division, the committee workload can be more evenly divided, which will allow additional time for our scholarly activities.”

Jagger said the new alignment will be carefully monitored during its first year.

“Because this change has many consequences for the college, we will take the coming year to implement any necessary adjustments and evaluate the impact of the change.”

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