Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AU Announces the Closing of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

The University Provost released a statement yesterday, announcing the closing of the dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences for the reasons outlined below. Faculty within this department will be reassigned.
This decision will have no direct impact on the Dietetics Program, which continues to be one of the strongest programs at AU. With the elimination of the foods and nutrition major, which was housed in the fcs dept., the only specific nutrition-related degree available at AU will be in Dietetics, which is housed in the Department of Health Sciences. The Health Sciences Department continues to be one of the University's gems, and will move AU forward.  The Dietetics Program is designed to prepare students to become healthcare providers with the background and knowledge to deal with current and future issues facing individuals and our society. We will continue to work towards developing and maintaining an educational program second to none.  We expect that of ourselves and our students have come to expect it of us. We wouldn't want it any other way.
Provost Announcement:
The University is announcing plans for academic restructuring that will synthesize the programs and faculty of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) into other departments and colleges of the University. The proposed starting date is for the fall semester of 2013.
Several mitigating factors have occurred simultaneously with the original plan to reorganize. The first factor is the recent move of the dietetics major from FCS into the newly formed Health Sciences Department. The second factor is the culmination of the previously planned FCS Department's physical move out of the Kates building and into the Claremont Building. This is to help prepare the way for the Kettering building expansion project for more science laboratories and teaching space. The third factor came last summer, with the unexpected resignation of one of the four faculty members within the FCS department. The fourth factor is the intended permanent move of one of the current FCS faculty members to a full-time administrative position within the College of Arts and Sciences.
It is planned that the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences be dissolved and two of its academic programs be realigned with other existing departments within the University. The Fashion Merchandising major and minor will be reassigned to the College of Business and Economics within the Department of Marketing. Dr. Nancy Morris will be assigned to the Marketing Department and continue to lead the Fashion Merchandising program. This reassignment fits very well with national trends that have an increasing number of Fashion Merchandising programs (because of their coursework in business) housed in Colleges of Business. This move will provide better facilities as well as a significant new opportunity to market this program and attract new students.

The Child and Family Studies major and minors will be reassigned to the Department of Social Work with a new faculty position to be assigned for support of the program. This major currently shares similar coursework and has a strong recent history of attracting students. This re-assignment will provide better facilities, more marketing opportunities for the major and will be strengthened by alignment with a nationally accredited social work program.
The remaining programs in the current Department of Family and Consumer Sciences will be impacted in the following manner. The FCS Education licensure (grades 4-12) and the Foods and Nutrition major and minor currently being offered by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences will be phased out by 2015 by not admitting any new students into the programs.
There are four faculty reassignments with this academic administrative reorganization. First, I'm pleased to announce the assignment of Dr. Cindy Moseman as the new Assistant Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning in June 2013. Cindy has in recent years served as Department Chair of the Family and Consumer Sciences Department and also as the Assessment Coordinator of the College of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, Cindy has been serving in the part-time role of Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the past two years. Her main focus has been facilitating the development of articulation agreements, assisting departments in the development of 3-year degree programs, curricular changes, and student concerns. Please congratulate Cindy on her new administrative assignment. Second, I am equally pleased that Dr. Deborah Sullivan will be assigned to the Department of Health Sciences, specifically to assist in the Lifetime Wellness area under Laura Kruger. Deborah will also be involved in the International Programs area as well assisting in the study abroad planning for students.

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