University of Calgary

Faculty amalgamation

June 30, 2009

Board of Governors vote to unify arts and social sciences faculties

On June 25 the University of Calgary Board of Governors voted to unify the faculties of communication and culture, fine arts, humanities and social sciences into a single faculty. A transition process will begin July 1 and the new faculty will launch April 1, 2010.

“This is the outcome we worked to achieve,” says Harvey Weingarten, president and vice-chancellor. “Our goal is to make sure the University of Calgary recruits quality students and helps them complete their degrees in a timely fashion. We must continue to evolve to ensure our students have an excellent experience. We need to remove any structural barriers that stand in the way of these goals. The U of C’s decision-making bodies also felt that merging faculties will help us achieve those core objectives and better address student needs.”

The university solicited input throughout an extensive campus-wide consultation process beginning in October 2008 before the Board reached its decision.

Concentrating efforts on one administrative structure will facilitate an improved and seamless university experience for arts and social sciences students. This includes:

  • recruiting students
  • simplifying a set of rules and regulations that unify standards and ease application and admission processes
  • helping students to complete their degrees in a timely fashion
  • streamlining academic advising
  • simplifying processes for transferability between undergraduate programs,
  • improving course selection and availability,
  • promoting multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and experiential learning opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels
  • strengthening the financial foundation and flexibility for arts and social sciences education

“These changes will benefit students first and foremost,” says Weingarten. “Any student currently in the system and any student applying to an existing program will earn the degree he/she started pursuing. Our aim is to preserve and build upon the best elements of every department and faculty included in the discussion.”

"A single faculty will benefit arts students in a few ways including the potential for a simplified administrative process and opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction. Putting more instructors back into the classrooms rather than administrative offices is also something U of C arts students really need,” says Charlotte Kingston, president of the Students’ Union. “This commitment to improving the structure of the arts faculties reaffirms the importance of the arts to this institution.”

The new structure will bring the U of C in line with other G13 universities, the majority of which have two or fewer arts and social science-type faculties.

A transition team has been established for the period July 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010 to implement the transition plan. For more information on the objectives of the transition team and its members visit www.ucalgary.ca/transitionteam.

For background on this decision visit www.ucalgary.ca/president/artsandsocialsciences.

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