Transition 2019-20: A New Operational and Strategic Vision for CLAS

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a remarkable community of learners, teachers, artists, and researchers. Our strength lies in the diversity of our disciplines and the excellence of the academic work that is done in each of our departments.

To ensure that our departments are able to strategically shape their own futures, the Dean's Office is implementing a series of operational changes. The goal of this multi-phase process is to position the college, its departments, and its programs for sustainable excellence and impact in a rapidly evolving higher-education landscape.

Through the review and reallocation of administrative responsibilities, the Dean's Office seeks to empower Departmental Executive Officers and their departments to make the decisions that will guide their own programmatic development. These changes will be based on a model of departmental autonomy and accountability, in which units will have increased decision-making authority within clearly defined collegiate guidelines.

Areas of effort include:

  • A shift in some operational and fiscal decision-making authority and responsibility—most notably regarding budgets—from the Dean's Office to DEOs;
  • A reorganization of the Dean’s Office structure that will better support departments and significantly streamline processes and procedures;
  • Clarification of collegiate policies and of the division of responsibilities and authority between the Dean's Office and the departments; and
  • The beginning of a renewed focus on collegiate and departmental strategic planning.

The Dean’s Office will work collaboratively with DEOs and departments throughout this transition, offering individualized support as well as workshops and training sessions. Collegiate leadership will seek departmental and shared-governance feedback in identifying the gaps and questions that are necessary to address during this multi-phase organizational restructuring. Through this process, the college and its departments will build upon their individual and collective strengths to re-energize, refocus, and realize excellence and impact across the disciplines.

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