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.
perceived benefits for an institution to be realized by eliminating
Departments and Department Heads might be
phasing out Department Heads there is a reduction in salary
budgets as the additional pay for Department Heads is eliminated.
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.
By consolidating all Department budgets into a single
School budget there is savings, and also there is more control
over how budgets are spent.
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.
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.
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.
Elimination of Departments and reduction of hours in
the major is consistent with university notions of liberal
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.
most state universities, departments have always been under
attack, and especially the professional programs as universities
favored the liberal arts approach to education
Education within a departmental system was considered
too focused, narrow and insulated from other learning experiences.
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.)