AKRON—Officials at the University of Akron had started discussing the possibility of reorganizing some of its colleges and schools. The plan was to finish those talks before the end of October.
However, the university has extended the timeline to Feb. 1 for evaluations and proposals on the plan.
John C. Green, University of Akron interim president, said in a statement he had made this decision after consulting the university's board of trustees, University Council, Faculty Senate and Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He said he appreciated the ideas and "thoughtful critique" that had already come from the process.
"Clearly more time is needed to evaluate the initial proposals," Green said. "We need to have these types of conversations as we work together to improve our university."
Green added in an earlier interview that the reorganization proposals grew out of the academic program review process, in which the university identified less successful programs to cut and promising ones in which to invest.
The initial reorganization proposals Green shared with faculty were as follows:
Adding chemistry and chemical engineering to the polymer programs;
Moving the engineering technology and physics programs to the engineering college;
Creating a new school or college of computer science and data science programs; and
Moving the programs in the College of Applied Science and Technology to other colleges.
The proposals were designed to create economies of scale among programs or make retention easier by putting related programs in the same college. In the interview earlier this week, Green emphasized he wanted this to be the start of the discussions and was interested in hearing from the faculty on the proposals.
Julie Cajigas, acting president of the Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors, indicated in an email that the union was satisfied with the decision to extend the deadline.
"Although there are still many challenges that we are facing as a university, I am encouraged by interim president Green's response to the faculty's immediate concerns," Cajigas said in a statement. "The faculty are not in principle opposed to changes that will improve academic quality and delivery of programs, and we look forward to the opportunity to work alongside the administration to make data-guided decisions that will support our current students and attract prospective ones."
The schedule change will allow the university to focus on its strategic planning process, which it's calling its Three-Year Action Plan, the statement read. The goal is to finish that by December 2018 so it can inform the university's next budget.