Significant restructuring of academic departments at Jackson State University, which many students, faculty and alumni vehemently oppose, was approved unanimously Thursday by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
In addition to program consolidations proposed last month by interim President Rod Paige and his administration, the IHL trustees voted to suspend the Master of Arts in Teaching English degree for lack of productivity.
Merging departments, cutting 42 jobs and an earlier reduction of 65 vacant positions should result in $6 million in savings for the university, which faces a major financial crisis.
The following changes will be made at Jackson State, effective July 1:
- The Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages and the Department of Speech Communications will be consolidated and renamed the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages and Speech Communication.
- The Department of Art and the Department of Theatre will be consolidated and renamed the Department of Art and Theatre.
- The School of Journalism and Media Studies will be renamed the Department of Journalism and Media Studies and be reorganized under the College of Liberal Arts. There will be no change in the location of the unit.
- The Department of Accounting, Department of Economics, Finance and General Business, Department of Marketing and Management, and Department of Entrepreneurship will be reorganized from four units to two and renamed the Department of Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurship and Department of Business Administration. This structure will be administered by two department chairs and will be assisted by two administrative assistants.
- The Department of Special Education and the Department of Social and Cultural Studies will be consolidated and renamed the Department of Special Education and Social and Cultural Studies. The unit will operate under the College of Education and Human Development.
- Physics, Atmospheric Sciences and Geoscience and Chemistry and Biochemistry will be consolidated and renamed the Department of Chemistry and Geo and Physical Sciences.
- Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering will be consolidated and renamed Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science.
- Industrial Systems and Technology and Civil and Environmental Engineering will be consolidated and renamed the Department of Civil, Environmental Engineering and Industrial Systems Technology.
The trustees also approved a restructuring at Mississippi University for Women to eliminate the need to fill the vacant position of dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences and move the departments within that college to others as a response. This was MUW’s response to reduced state funding.
Changes at MUW include:
- College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education will be reorganized and renamed the new unit College of Arts and Sciences, and Education.
- The Department of Health and Kinesiology’s academic programs will be reorganized and moved to the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology.