- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The Columbia College Board of Trustees will vote in April on a proposal to split the college into separate schools.

A 22-person task force of trustees, faculty and administrators that studied the proposal for several months has endorsed the change, which would be a structure similar to universities or larger colleges.

President Scott Dalrymple says the college has more than 25,000 students on 36 satellite campuses but has only one dean, who is retiring this fall.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1EHagyj ) that decisions about the number of colleges and a timeline for the change could be announced when the trustees vote in April.

Dalrymple said if the plan is approved, different deans would oversee each college, and those deans would report to the provost.

Chemistry professor Chris Babayco, who is a faculty representative on the board of trustees and was a member of the task force, said school faculty will be voting to endorse the change next week.

He said that there was some concern among faculty members about the logistics of the hiring process for deans, and the potential structure for the new colleges. According to Babayco, those concerns cannot be addressed at the moment because the trustees have not made any official decisions.

“It’s going to cost to make this kind of change, but it’s expensive not to do it, too,” Dalrymple said. “It’s about providing more academic oversight. The two main benefits I see are more oversight and the chance to reduce the burden of administrative tasks on faculty. Assessment and similar responsibilities have trickled down to faculty because there’s not structure to take care of it. I’m not sure that’s the best use of their time.”

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com


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