Programs within the family and consumer sciences department in the College of Applied Sciences and Technology are searching for new homes.
All full-time FCS faculty voted last week to recommend the sub-disciplines within their department be transferred to colleges where they would fit best after Interim President Terry King announced that CAST will be discontinued as of June 30.
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Finding the right fit for “specialty areas” within the discipline, however, is not an easy task, said Amy Harden, interim associate dean of CAST.
“What’s happened with FCS and what makes it much more challenging is family and consumer sciences is a discipline, but it’s a very diverse discipline by itself,” Harden said. “There’s a good fit for some of the sub-disciplines but not others. So then it became, in my opinion, an extremely difficult challenge to determine what is best for the future, looking maybe 10 years or more down the road.”
Votes from the sending department have recommended:
- residential property management and hospitality and food management move to the College of Business in the management department
- apparel design and fashion merchandising programs move to the College of Business in the marketing department
- interior design move to the College of Architecture and Planning
- family studies, child development, child life specialists, FCS education and the general program move to the Teachers College.
Harden said the need to dissolve FCS and other programs in CAST came when the nutrition and dietetics departments moved from CAST to the new College of Health.
“Half of what this college used to be, under this college [of health], has moved. So it made [CAST] smaller,” Harden said. “The idea was whether or not there should be eight colleges or how it should be configured.”
When programs move colleges, each affected party gets a vote that is overseen by University Senate. Last week, CAST voted to recommend its FCS programs be taken in by various colleges on campus.
The receiving colleges will vote to pass or deny a recommendation to accept the programs. From there, members of the University Senate vote on whether to approve the recommendations and pass its resolution to administration before the end of the academic year.
“The timeline [for the votes] has been very, very fast for us, and that’s, again, a huge challenge in terms of trying to gather as much information as possible to make the best decision on the very, very short time frame that we have to work with,” Harden said.
The final decision rests with the president and the Board of Trustees.
So far, votes from the sending department have recommended residential property management and hospitality and food management move to the College of Business in the management department; apparel design and fashion merchandising programs move to the College of Business in the marketing department; interior design move to the College of Architecture and Planning; and family studies, child development, child life specialists, FCS education and the general program move to the Teachers College.
The dissolution should not affect students in any way, so they “should not feel anxious at all,” Harden said. Class structure,
The university’s bottom line was not the underlying factor in the dissolution, Harden said.
“We’ve been assured that this is not a cost-cutting process,” Harden said. “This is not a resource allocation. This is simply an organizational structure type of thing.”
However, Harden said the future of donations to FCS programs has not yet been clarified.
“The alumni, the donors, all those kind of things that have supported FCS as a whole now are being kind of forced which piece to focus on,” Harden said. “I hope that we can still make those connections."
Colleges receiving the programs are in the process of voting electronically, and once tallied, the result will be put on the last University Senate agenda for its last meeting of the academic year in mid-April.
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