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The Sun Interviews Fuchs

Sam Cross asks all the right questions in his interview with the Provost:

Sun: Some of the task force reports mentioned a decrease in the number of higher level courses because of fewer faculty members. Is this going to be a trend?

K.F.: Weíre hoping not to shrink the faculty any more than we already have. My higher priority is to keep the faculty size at its current level, and even to regrow it. Youíre right, if we have to balance the budget by reducing faculty, then that does mean fewer courses, particularly electives. Our hope is that we can avoid that. We donít yet know if we can do that, but we hope to not have to shrink the faculty any more. Thatís why weíre trying to attain $90 million of administrative savings.

Sun: Many of the task force reports discuss possible mergers among colleges. Have there been further developments on the feasibility of these plans?

K.F.: For some, yes, and for some, no. For example, the College of Engineering was proposing a possibility of a combined science. Itís unlikely weíre going to do that. We are, however, discussing whether AEM should become a school and whether there should be a school of environment, both [of which were] proposed by CALS.

Sun: It seems odd that AEM is in CALS.

K.F.: The AEM major is a highly ranked major for undergraduate business, but we also have management programs in the Hotel School, the Johnson School and some business in ILR; Engineering has a masters in management, so weíre trying to decide how we can be best organized around management.

Sun: Are you planning to create a school of public policy, and if so, will it be built out of one of our current schools?

K.F.: Thatís going to be a big decision and we donít know yet.

Sun: Is the College of Arts and Sciences ó especially the government or economics departments ó playing a role in the school of public policy?

K.F.: It will. Weíre not yet ready to bring in all of the colleges because Iíve asked a couple of deans to think about it. The Arts College, because of its breadth, has some type of impact, whether itís social sciences or economics.

Sun: How will such major changes in the University structure impact the budget model?

K.F.: Thatís why Iím such a big supporter of changing the budget model. If we pool undergraduate tuition, we can make it easier to pull down barriers between colleges, at least from a studentís perspective. For colleges, we have to ensure that we donít create negative incentives that will make them compete with each other.

In another interesting tidbit, apparently the Policy Analysis and Management program in Human Ecology has decided to rename itself 'Public Policy', perhaps trying to distance itself from the pre-business crowd.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on March 02, 2010 (#)

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