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Management Department Heads page 3

 
 

Perceived Benefits
School organization and practices vary from institution to institution, but all have in common that departments per se have been eliminated. In the instance of Schools with only a few disciplines, or those that have a substantial number of faculty members within a single program, the Director might improvise by appointing a faculty member as a Coordinator, Program Head, Senior Professor or some other such title. These positions are not listed in the institutional table of organization nor is there financial remuneration for discharging the responsibilities that go with the appointment.



Some perceived benefits for an institution to be realized by eliminating Departments and Department Heads might be
1
By phasing out Department Heads there is a reduction in salary budgets as the additional pay for Department Heads is eliminated.

2
Without Departments, the number of total faculty can be reduced because faculty and courses for one program can service other programs. This almost always leads to serious reduction of credits in the major required for graduation with a corresponding increase in elective credits. There is almost always an increase in graduate teaching assistants and part-time instructors.

3
By consolidating all Department budgets into a single School budget there is savings, and also there is more control over how budgets are spent.

4
By creating a central school office in place of departmental offices, there is consolidation of record keeping and other clerical tasks which reduces the number of support staff.


5
By eliminating Departments as such, there is greater administrative control in assigning space. Multi-use space can be increased and fixed-space reduced or eliminated. From a managerial point-of-view, this is more efficient, but teachers consider it as being less effective from an educational standpoint.


6
By eliminating Department Heads it is easier for administration to exercise control over educational as well as operational activities. Without program leadership, it encourages divisiveness among faculty members. A divided rather than a unified faculty insures administrative control over personnel and operational as well as educational matters.


7
Elimination of Departments and reduction of hours in the major is consistent with university notions of liberal arts education.


8
Perhaps the strongest consideration for eliminating departments was not financial, but rather to make the managerial operation fluid. For institutions overloaded with administrators, a smooth managerial operation is a high priority. Accountability at universities today more nearly approximates corporate organization with managerial hierarchy than academic organization which traditionally is based on division of responsibilities with checks and balances between managerial and educational functions.

 

At most state universities, departments have always been under attack, and especially the professional programs as universities favored the liberal arts approach to education
1
Education within a departmental system was considered too focused, narrow and insulated from other learning experiences.

2
Department Heads were perceived as being jealous of one another, not able to work cooperatively; they were viewed as empire builders in terms of constantly pressing for fixed-space, budgets, staff and faculty members. Department Heads were believed to be inflexible. It was much easier for a Dean to work with three administrative Directors than with three to six contentious Department Heads representing their programs, faculty and students. (When threatened with loss of faculty lines, budgets or space, Deans exhibit exactly the same traits for which they condemn Department Heads.)


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