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School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University Subject to
Consolidation as University Restructures
By Sara Kincaid, The Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Feb. 24, 2004 - --Northern Arizona University seems to have taken a page from corporate America with its restructuring options - middle management will take the most hits as NAU downsizes from 10 colleges and schools to just five. 

Half of the dean and up to half of the associate dean positions will be reduced, depending on the restructuring proposal chosen by NAU President John Haeger. 

No colleges, schools or institutes will be eliminated, just reshuffled and consolidated into five colleges. Adoption of a restructuring plan is expected to save NAU up to $1 million annually, according to university officials. 

Which faculty members lose those administrative positions may not be known for several weeks, according to NAU officials, but some already have an idea. 

For example, School of Communication Associate Dean Tom Knights said his administrative position will be eliminated. He still has a faculty position in visual communication. As for other deans and associate deans, however, he said they do not know if their positions will be eliminated because it is too early. 

Provost Liz Grobsmith said it could be a natural reaction of some deans and assistant deans to assume if their school is being consumed into another college that their deanship would not be there next year. 

"We don't know which ones," Grobsmith said. 

She said this will not be known until an organizational structure is chosen for the reorganized colleges. School of Forestry Associate Dean Laura DeWald said she does not know the status of her position as associate dean, but knows she has job security as a faculty member in the forestry program. 

Knights, who is a member of the 13-member Blue Ribbon Task Force Committee on Restructuring, said the committee considered several options and combinations when making its recommendations. 

The restructuring keeps the schools and colleges intact as well as programs, so grouping the schools was based on compatibility, Knights said. 

For example, in Plan B, the School of Communication is grouped with the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and the College of Business Administration. One area where these disciplines work together is tourism, he said, in disciplines such as advertising, public relations and hospitality. 

Knights, however, is not endorsing a particular plan at this point. 

"I would rather not comment on a preference until discussions take place," he said. 

The professional school route for the School of Communication, as depicted in plan A has advantages as well. 

"One advantage to the professional school is it would differentiate NAU from ASU and U of A," Knights said. 

But with both plan A and plan B, Knights said there are positives and negatives. 

"It is why there is a discussion period," he said. 

One college left alone in both plans is the College of Education. Knights said this is mainly because of the size of the college. 

DeWald is supportive of the plan to incorporate the School of Forestry into a college of professional schools. 

"A professional school is very specialized," DeWald said. 

The School of Forestry is accredited and specialized and fits this definition, DeWald said. 

But its more than job training and it is not a trade school, she said. And it is more specialized than some degrees. 

"We have had some challenges because some people do not understand how it's different from a general science degree," she said. 

The School of Forestry helps teach students how to go into a specific career, as do the other colleges and schools recommended to be combined with the School of Forestry in plan A. 

Currently each college and school has its own dean and in some cases associate deans. If this college of professional schools was pursued, the four schools and colleges would be headed by one dean with a director for each college or school. 

DeWald said she does not see a problem with one dean for such different, specialized programs. What would be important is the dean be a supporter of the professional school concept, she said. 

"As long as we have a dean with a strong vision, the particular subject matter does not matter," DeWald said. "(The dean) would have to be a champion of the culture and an effective advocate of the culture." 

She also said having a professional college would not hamper any collaborative arrangements with other disciplines. 

Other deans could not be reached for or referred questions to the university's office of media relations. They are: College of Health Professions Associate Dean Ilene Decker, College of Engineering Dean Duane Abata, School of Communication Dean Roger Lavery, School of Forestry Dean David Patton, the college of Health Professions Dean James Blagg Jr., the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management Dean Ron Evans and the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management Associate Dean Galen Collins. 

The first campus forum about the restructuring options is March 5. The time and location will be announced later by the university. 

The timeline for Haeger and Grobsmith to make a decision on which plan or modification of a plan to implement for restructuring is six to seven weeks. Haeger will release his decision April 12. Implementation will begin in July. 


NAU released the restructuring proposals Friday. 

In Plan A, the five restructured colleges would be: -- College I: Arts and Science combined with the College of Fine Arts -- College II: Social and Behavioral Sciences -- College III: College of Business Administration combined with the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management -- College IV: Professional schools to include School of Communication, School of Forestry, the School of Engineering and the College of Health Professions; -- College V: College of Education. 

In Plan A, the number of deans would be cut in half as would the number of associate deans, to five from 10 in both cases. 

In Plan B, the five restructured colleges would be: -- College I: Science, Engineering and Forestry -- College II: Communication, Hospitality and Business Management -- College III: Social, Behavioral Sciences and Health Sciences -- College IV: Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts -- College V: Education Plan B reduces the deans from 10 to five and the assistant deans from 10 to seven. 

The plans redistribute centers, institutes and academic programs not associated with a specific college that are overseen by the provost, president, vice-provost of research, vice-provost of undergraduate studies or are unassigned to a specific college or to one of the vice provosts. 

Each plan leaves the colleges, schools and departments in their current locations on campus. 

The plans have modifications for each college combination and based on campus discussions, the schools and colleges could suggest alternate combinations. 

-----To see more of The Arizona Daily Sun, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to 

(c) 2004, The Arizona Daily Sun. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 


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