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Local News

August 30, 2013

SUNY Oneonta plans academic overhaul

SUNY Oneonta will have five schools instead of three academic divisions under a reorganization to be officially introduced Friday, a media release said. 

Nancy Kleniewski, president of the State University College at Oneonta, will review changes and accomplishments at the campus with faculty and staff during the annual opening breakfast in the Hunt College Union Ballroom from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday.

Kleniewski will speak about the “ambitious, strategically critical plan to advance teaching, learning and scholarship” by restructuring academic affairs from a three-division to a five-school arrangement, according to the release, which was issued Wednesday, the first day of the fall semester.

Kleniewski also will review progress related to the college’s strategic plan and the re-accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education on Higher Education. 

The five schools will be founded at a “Celebration of Schools” event in the Morris Conference Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6. 

SUNY Oneonta enrolls about 6,000 students. Of 493 faculty, 259 are full-time and 243 are part-time, officials said, and the staff numbers 654 employees.

In spring 2012, SUNY Oneonta Provost Maria Thompson announced a proposal to shift from three academic divisions —liberal arts and sciences, education, and business and economics — to a five-school structure. The reorganization includes a School of Business and Economics, a School of Arts and Humanities, a School of Social Science, a School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and a School of Education and Human Ecology.

Renee Walker, chairwoman of the anthropology department, said Wednesday that the reorganization has prompted mixed reactions of excitement and nervousness on campus.

But the changes overall are good because related disciplines are in the same school, said Walker, who until this week was chair of the Faculty Senate during the time the reorganization was developed. Benefits possible include streamlined management of departments, she said, and maximizing the sharing of resources to develop courses, programs and internships that will benefit students. 

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