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Torgersen, Meszaros meet with faculty

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 13 - November 16, 1995

President Paul Torgersen and Provost Peggy Meszaros met with the College of Education's faculty, staff, and students Friday, Nov. 10, to discuss the specifics of his plan to integrate the College of Education into an existing college. The session, attended by about 150 people, brought forth concerns about the proposal, the process by which it was put forth, and its effect on the college's restructuring efforts.

Torgersen opened the meeting with a brief review of the events leading up to his November 8 letter (see article at left). "After two months of consideration, the idea came into sharp focus about two weeks ago," Torgersen said. "On Monday [November 6] Provost Meszaros and I agreed to proceed. The timing is good. I believe this is very important to the university. There is tremendous pressure on higher education to save money without impacting the teacher-learning process." He estimated savings of $250,000 annually by eliminating the dean's office in Education.

Torgersen also cited the symbolic value of the decision of moving from nine to eight colleges. "This move will have no impact on programs, faculty, or students. It does not affect Education's restructuring effort."

Torgersen has asked that an implementation team, chaired by Meszaros, study the options and report to him by Jan. 15, 1996. "I anticipate implementation by July 1, 1996," he said.

"What you do can make us a better university," Torgersen told the faculty. "Faculty expertise that can enrich the university will be better served if woven into the fabric of another college."

Among the topics raised by the faculty, staff, and students at the meeting and addressed by the president and provost: the implications of this decision for the university-wide decision-making process and governance structure; the perception of devaluation of education by the university; the effect the move would have on accreditation and status of Tech's education programs; the creation of morale problems; the effect the move would have on the quality and delivery of education programs; the effect the move will have on student recruitment at the graduate level; the basis and rationale for the decision; the impact of the decision on the college's program-review schedule; and the relationship of the decision to the university-wide, SCHEV-mandated program review.

Meszaros will meet with interim Dean Wayne Worner this week to begin the process of studying implementation of the proposal.

In another development, the Board of Visitors on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution expressing its full and continuing support to Torgersen and Meszaros in their efforts toward restructuring the university, including the College of Education. The board praised the leadership of Worner and the strenuous efforts of the faculty and staff in behalf of the restructuring process.