Board approves restructuring of Temple schools, colleges

After more than a year of discussions involving Temple University's Office of the Provost, faculty members and administrators, the university's Board of Trustees approved proposals to restructure several of Temple's flagship schools and colleges on Thursday, June 21.

The board approved the establishment of a Center for the Arts, a new academic unit that brings more closely together and enchances Temple's programs in the arts: the Boyer College of Music and Dance, the Tyler School of Art and a newly formed Division of Theater, Film and Media Arts. The board also approved the renaming of the School of Communications and Theater as the School of Media and Communication, as well as the reorganization of academic departments in the College of Education.

The changes emerged from discussions initiated by the Office of the Provost in response to challenges presented by shrinking state support for higher education and other changes in Temple's competitive environment.

"Through many months of listening and sharing ideas, our mission never wavered: improve the Temple academic experience for all students and enhance the university's reputation while seeking new efficiencies in order to keep tuition as low as we can," said Richard M. Englert, provost and interim senior vice president for academic affairs. "The changes approved by the board today build on Temple's strengths. The future looks bright."

The new Center for the Arts brings together Temple's acclaimed programs in the arts for the first time in the university's history, signaling "the emergence of Temple as a premier arts university on the eastern seaboard," said Englert. The center — made up of the Tyler School of Art and the Boyer College of Music and Dance (both of which will retain their unique identities and brands) as well as the departments of Theater and Film and Media Arts — is now one of the largest academic units at Temple. Englert noted that the center, which will be headed by one dean, provides new opportunities for integration, excellence, collaboration, efficiency and fundraising, and will reinforce the identity of the northwestern corner of Main Campus as a mini-arts quad. The Center for the Arts will be led by Robert T. Stroker, who in addition to his role as vice provost of the arts had served as dean of Boyer and interim dean of Tyler.

Temple's renamed School of Media and Communication "recognizes trends in these increasingly important fields, reflects the school's reputation for preparing media and communication leaders and creates a more focused mission for the school's faculty, students and administrators," said Englert. The School of Media and Communication consists of the Department of Journalism, the Department of Advertising, the Department of Strategic Communication and the newly renamed Department of Media Studies and Production (formerly the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media).

The Board of Trustees also approved the reorganization of academic units within Temple's College of Education. The board approved the establishment of two new academic units, the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Department of Psychological, Organizational and Leadership Studies, in place of the college's three previous departments. "Reducing the number of academic departments will create a sharper focus for the work of the college and more clearly highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the field of education," said Englert. The two new departments will house the same faculty and programs as the three former departments, but will "create opportunities for new synergies across disciplinary fields," Englert added.

The restructuring will be effective July 1, 2012 and will be implemented and reflected in systems and publications during the 2012-13 academic year.