BY LINDLEY ESTES
The Board of Visitors approved a reorganization of the university on April 9 that will create a new College of Education, a new College of Business, and a Division of Professional Development and Regional Engagement. Each college will be treated as a separate entity with its own dean.
This restructuring of the University of Mary Washington leaves the College of Arts and Sciences intact, while changing the roles of business and education from departments to colleges of their own.
It will retain 20 departments and report to newly hired Dean Richard Finkelstein. The departments of business administration and education will no longer be affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences. Transferred to the new colleges will be the department’s existing budgets, faculty and course offerings.
Students enrolled in the university’s current business and education departments will be able to complete their degrees as planned.
The College of Business will be led by Acting Dean Larry Penwell and will have a faculty of combined College of Graduate and Professional Studies and College of Arts and Sciences professionals. It will be located on the Fredericksburg Campus.
The college will be comprised of two departments, the Department of Management and Marketing and the Department of Accounting and Management information Systems. They will be chaired by Raul Chavez-Negrete and Daniel Hubbard respectively.
The new College of Education will also be housed on the Fredericksburg campus and have a mixed faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the graduate campus. The dean has not yet been named. This college is also comprised of two departments. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is to be chaired by Marie Sheckels while the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Special Populations will be chaired by Jane Huffman.
“The thing that matters to me most is the actual programs and we’ve been told that the change will not affect that too much. It will just change what’s on our diploma. What’s going to show is that people will think that UMW is bigger than it seems because they will see colleges rather than departments,” sophomore education major Kelley Clouse said.
The College of Graduate and Professional Studies will undergo the largest change as well as its fourth name change since it opened in 1999.
The Division of Professional Development and Regional Engagement is set to open by 2012 and will continue to offer services to nontraditional students.
It will include the Small Business Development Center and the Center for Professional Development and Advising Services. This initiative signals a renewed interest of UMW in helping the region. This division of the university will remain on the Stafford campus.
The division of Professional Development and regional Engagement will be led by its new associate provost, Dr. Meta Braymer.
In the university press release, President Rick Hurley was enthusiastic about the changes.
“I’m very gratified that the Board approved these changes. They are indicative of our forward thinking and progressive approach to offer a top-flight educational experience for current and future students on both our Fredericksburg and Stafford campuses,” Hurley said.
In an e-mail on Friday, Hurley explained the changes to students.
“I believe that as we move forward, the new structure will strengthen the University as a whole and enable us to offer an even better educational experience,” Hurley said.