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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

November 19, 2004

Proposed name draws criticism

by Linda Charles

The proposed name for a new college that may be created by combining the Education and Family and Consumer Sciences colleges drew criticism during the Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 9.

Senators from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences said the proposed name, College of Human Sciences, is misleading because the new college would not include the social sciences (psychology, sociology, economics, political science and anthropology).

The social science departments are fundamental to understanding human behavior, said senator Stephanie Madon, psychology.

"I'm concerned that the name Human Sciences diminishes a lot of other departments," she said.

Senator Bill Woodman, sociology, added, "Social sciences are the human sciences. I suggest the name of College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Education."

But Pam White, interim FCS dean, said that "Human Sciences" has become synonymous with many FCS units over the past decade. "The term 'Human Sciences' has begun to be used nationally," she said.

The proposed combination of the two colleges would save approximately $500,000 annually, mostly through administrative reductions, said associate provost Susan Carlson. Under the plan, one dean and three associate deans would lead the combined college -- a reduction of one dean and two associate dean positions.

In addition, the student services functions would be combined into a team of six full-time professional and scientific staff -- a reduction of 2.5 positions. The new college also would maintain two development officers and one alumni officer, she said.

Carlson added that the savings from the first year would be used to renovate offices for student services on the first floor of MacKay's east wing. After that, savings would go toward academics in the new college.

Senator Gregory Palermo said he thought the original idea to combine the two colleges was part of budget-reduction measures and asked how the university could reinvest the savings back into the new college.

Carlson replied that while the idea to combine the two colleges grew out of budget discussions, it had always been President Gregory Geoffroy's intention to reinvest any savings back into the new college to strengthen academic programs, primarily through new faculty hires.

The senate will continue discussion of the proposal to combine the two colleges during its December meeting. Under the policy for academic reorganization, the senate has the option to either return the proposal to the provost with recommendations for change or send the proposal to Geoffroy with a recommendation to submit it to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for approval.


Some senators have objected to naming a new college (which would be created by combining the colleges of Education and Family and Consumer Sciences) the College of Human Sciences because the new college would not include the social science departments. The Faculty Senate will continue its discussion in December.