December 06, 2010

Chancellor announces restructuring

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Student success is at the heart of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s ongoing efforts to create a University College.

Under a restructuring announced today (Dec. 6) by Chancellor Rita Cheng, offices that have been part of the Division of Student Affairs now have different reporting lines.

“The University College model has proven effective at colleges and universities throughout the country,” Cheng said. “The steps we are taking build on Saluki First Year, which is having a very positive impact on our first-year students. This expanded approach will help us more effectively meet the needs of our first- and second-year students and help them achieve their goal of earning a degree.”

Within the University College framework, the following offices will report to Gary Minish, incoming provost and senior vice chancellor: New Student Programs, Career Services, Supplemental Instruction, Pre-Major Advisement, University 101, Center for Academic Success, Student Support Services, and Residential Life.

In addition, Disability Support Services, Veterans Services, Student Legal Services, Student Judicial Affairs, and Multicultural Programming report to Peter Gitau, dean of students, who also reports to Minish. The provost and senior vice chancellor’s office also will have oversight of International Programs and Services.

The bursar’s office is now part of Enrollment Management.

The following units report to Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for administration and finance: Housing, Recreational Sports & Services, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Rainbow’s End, Student Center and Student Development.

Larry H. Dietz, who has served as vice chancellor for student affairs since 2000, said, “During the next year, I will assume some administrative and academic responsibilities that will allow me to continue to serve the University, including as a tenured associate professor of educational administration and higher education. There are many ways to make positive contributions to the University and to helping students, and I am looking forward to those opportunities.”

Cheng said the vice chancellor for student affairs position will remain vacant in the interim. In announcing the reporting line changes, Cheng also referred to efforts to “strengthen enrollment management, integrate academic and student affairs, as well as achieve greater administrative efficiencies.”

Mark Amos, associate professor of English and academic affairs director of Saluki First Year, said the University College model represents “the most efficient and effective way to organize our university functions and administrative systems to support beginning students.”

“A centralized structure organized specifically to address issues faced by beginning undergraduate students will closely align the many units through which we provide services to new students,” he said. “While we are all responsible to provide for our incoming students, a University College offers a focus for that mission and assigns responsibility for coordinating the many structures and programs that contribute to our students’ first-year experience.”

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, director of University Housing and student affairs director of Saluki First Year, said that while there have been many beneficial programs for new students, none was formally connected.

“We want students to be connected in a very tangible way,” she said. “What we are doing is more of a coordinated effort of supporting student success, engagement and learning. Everything with the student is a process, including the academic environment. If we can move beyond looking at everything as a single event -- such as the orientation program for new students -- but see it all as part of the development of a student, that’s what a University College facilitates.”