SIU Chancellor introduces revised plan, faculty concerned

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - SIU's Chancellor has released a revised version of his plan to the university. It was just a month ago when he launched the first draft proposal, and with your feedback, the second draft is ready for review.

The chancellor is planning to eliminate all the departments in SIU, and these proposed changes have caused a backlash with faculty members.

Faculty Senate President Kathleen Chwalisz is optimistic in regards to his revised plan for the university.

"We should give him a chance, let him do his thing," Chwalisz said. "I like to be optimistic and I want to give this chancellor a chance, and I want to give this reorganization a chance because if it works it will do some great things for this institution."

The SIU Chancellor has proposed his revised organizational structure plan. That includes eliminating departments and the role of department chair, which has stirred up some of the faculty.

"It makes sense that people would be nervous and skeptical," Chwalisz said. "We just really haven't had a chance to see him in action long enough to know if we can trust him. I think this vision is radical, but these are radical times. They have potential to solve our problem. It's a creative solution where nobody has to lose their jobs."

However, the Faculty Association President Dave Johnson believes this is the time to change but does not agree with the process of the Chancellor's decision making.

"The chancellor has not given us any models for a university like SIU that eliminated all academic departments," Johnson said. "So this is really kind of a gamble. Change yes, but change that is smart change. Change that involves the community pulling together and working together to make decisions. And change that is based on evidence and data and argument."

Chwalisz believes faculty may be misinformed.

"I think we need to educate people about how this can happen," Chwalisz said. "We need to start rebuilding enrollment and we need to start now, so I like that we have a framework and we can work out the details. The chancellor has routinely told us that the details are up to the faculty."

The Chancellors office said they already have a model like this in place.

"We have examples of the model – multiple programs under one centralized administrative office on our own campus," said the Chancellor. "Current examples of the general model exist in the School of Allied Health, School of Art and Design, and School of Architecture. These schools house multiple academic degree programs."

In addition, the chancellor is open to ideas from the faculty and staff for alternative proposals, whether in a meeting or online.

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