College Reorganization

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Reorganization was initiated in Fall 2021. In collaboration with the College Advisory Council (CAC), a process was designed for studying the prospects and possibilities for college reorganization. The CAS Reorganization Task Force, made up of six Faculty Members (selected by CAC) and six Department Head / School Director (DH/SD) administrators (approved by the Dean’s Office) worked together over a period of seven months to carry out the Dean’s charge. To that end, they crafted the CAS Reorganization Task Force Report, submitted in Fall 2022.  During that semester, the Dean’s office worked again with CAC to design the next step in the process, which resulted in the creation of the Faculty Consultant group. Comprised of four Faculty Members (three from CAS; one from the College of Education), the Faculty Consultants--who were selected based on experience with leading challenging conversations and collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data–-organized a series of focus group/listening sessions with stakeholder parties to address questions and collect feedback on the three alternative models put forth in the 2022 Task Force Report. The Faculty Consultants produced a second report, submitted in August 2023, which presented stakeholder feedback from the focus groups and put forward a fourth “hybrid” reorganization model assembled from elements of the first three models that were positively received.  

In January 2024 the Dean's office presented a proposal for reorganization, and invited all Schools, Departments, and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences programs to provide input in response to questions asked in the proposal.

College of Arts and Sciences Reorganization Proposal


  • Dean's Charge to the Reorganization Task Force

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    The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Reorganization Task Force is being formed for the purpose of evaluating CAS' current organizational effectiveness and efficiency.  Our current structure of eighteen departmental units, which may have appeared sustainable when the College was supporting 25,000 students, has become increasingly leaden, siloing, and costly as our student population and tuition revenue have steadily declined. The need for reevaluating the College structure has taken on additional urgency in view of projected continuing enrollment declines, regional demographic shifts, loss of faculty and staff to retirement/buy-out offers, diminishing/flat support from the state, and stiffening competition from online and for-profit institutions.  Cost is not the only driving factor: new and emerging forms of cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary scholarly and pedagogical initiatives are transforming higher education priorities and programming. Disruptions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic have spurred the adoption of instructional technologies that have the potential to connect us in meaningful and exciting ways—locally, nationally, and globally--with implications for our research, our programs, and our commitment to providing access and opportunity to a student population that has grown increasingly diverse and increasingly savvy when it comes to choosing their higher educational pathway. 

    The Dean’s charge to the CAS Reorganization Task Force is to assess our current structure.  To that end, the Task Force is encouraged to compare the organization of CAS to Arts & Sciences Colleges that bear similarities to us (in size, mission, disciplinary orientation, student population, etc.), or have recently undergone a successful restructure.  The Task Force will then share its findings along with any models they deem valuable for consideration. These findings will then be presented to the college community for a period of public comment, discussion and input regarding the proposals and any prospects for implementation in whole or part(s).  

    Our goal is multifold: from a budgetary standpoint, to streamline overhead and consolidate operations where possible, to balance resources in a manner that ensures equitable distribution of opportunity to students, and, perhaps, to realize new savings from reduced overhead spending that we may reallocate towards strengthening our mission.  From a programmatic standpoint, to fortify and unify CAS as we continue to "grow smaller," to consolidate our material and human capital, and to possibly create opportunities for joint hiring and hubs that support teaching and research objectives across units.  From an intellectual standpoint: to build on our research and instructional synergies, to fertilize conversations and collaborations that enable us to think side-by-side as an integrated community of teacher-scholars, and to give our students the chance to experience the richness and dynamic connectedness of the world of ideas.  And from a human resource perspective: to empower unit leaders and faculty to innovate, adapt, and exercise creativity in envisioning future programming and emerging pathways to student success.  In sum, our aim is to position CAS, and our students, for long term success in an increasingly competitive, diversified, and protean higher education landscape. 

    It is envisioned that this will be a two-year process, with the first year devoted to research and community discussion of possible models for change, and the second year devoted to approving a model and engaging rigorously with necessary input processes (CAC, AAUP, Provost’s Office, etc.).  The goal would be to begin implementing approved changes in Fall 2023, however that may change according to the needs of the process that guides us.  

    The Task Force will determine the process for delivering the charge and may consult with the dean as needed. The following principles are provided as general guidelines:  

    1. Prioritize models that retain the integrity of departments (and disciplines therein), as these identities are integral to the comprehensive identity and mission of CAS.  
    2. Take advantage of Eastern’s partnership with Hanover Research to obtain relevant data.
    3. Examine all data/models of interest, keeping in mind that only cost-saving or cost-neutral actions are likely to succeed at this time.  
    4. Consider the location of interdisciplinary programs within CAS, which currently have no departmental home and therefore no budgetary or infrastructural support.  
    5. Establish consensus on which proposal(s) will be sent forward for consideration by the College.    
    6. Understand that maintaining the status quo is not an option.  Change is inevitable, and the purpose of this Task Force is to ensure that CAS is the agent of change.

    Above all, the CAS Reorganization Task Force is charged with looking forward to CAS’s future.  

  • Reorganization Task Force Report

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  • Reorganization Faculty Consultants' Report

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  • Resources

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