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Board Approves Four-College Model

Published: February 08, 2007
Students will have four colleges to choose from at The University of Tampa starting this fall semester.

On Jan. 26, the UT Board of Trustees approved the creation of three new colleges: Arts and Letters, Natural and Health Sciences, and Social Science, Math and Education. The new structure will help the University retain its small-school ambience despite its rapid growth, said provost Dr. Janet McNew.

“What we have is a two-college model that was the result of establishing a separate College of Business nearly 20 years ago,” McNew said. “So, we had the [John H.] Sykes College of Business and the college of everything else.”

The college of everything else, or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, contains traditional liberal arts departments, such as history, as well as professional programs like nursing and education. With 180 full-time faculty members, it is nearly three times the size of the Sykes College of Business. The three new colleges will be of similar size.

Like the Sykes College of Business, each new college will have a greater sense of identity, which can help attract students and raise funds. The four-college model also is meant to increase transparency, decrease red tape, and foster stronger connections with the community, McNew said. She added that it also will aid in the creation of additional master’s-level professional graduate programs.

“We’ve reached a point of stability that’s a launching pad,” McNew said. “UT’s greatest need at this point is no longer growing enrollments. We need instead the academic infrastructure that will better support the parallel growth of students and faculty.”

Interim deans will be chosen internally and named in March, before the school launches a nationwide search for permanent deans.

The academic reorganization was the provost’s first major initiative since she was hired last summer, but she emphasized that the goal was accomplished through close collaboration with faculty members. A faculty committee met at least once a week for months to discuss the University’s plans.

Math professor Dr. Emilio Toro led the seven-member Academic Reorganization Committee, which issued a report recommending the four-college model. Faculty approved the model before sending it to the provost.

“The big advantage is that the size of the four colleges would be even,” Toro said. “It was the only way to achieve a good balance.”