Regents approve more dynamic administrative model for UW-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents voted Friday (Dec. 11) to approve a UW-Green Bay request for the first major restructuring of academic administration at the University in two decades.

“I am extremely pleased the Board has supported our proposal to reorganize,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “This will help our ability to be more responsive to state and regional needs. It creates an administrative structure that is more in line with our peers. It gives us the flexibility to prosper in what is a dynamic higher education environment.”

With the restructuring, UW-Green Bay will move away from the two-colleges model currently in place to one in which academic majors, faculty, staff and resources will be aligned in four distinct colleges (or schools).

The four divisions will be:

  • The College of Health, Education and Social Welfare
    (formerly the College of Professional Studies)
  • The Austin E. Cofrin School of Business
    (formerly housed in the College of Professional Studies)
  • The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    (created from the existing College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
  • The College of Science and Technology
    (created from the existing College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Miller says the move from two colleges to four — to be accomplished in 2016 — is cost neutral but growth positive. The structure should enable deans to be more active and effective in targeting enrollment, outside grants and fundraising along with new partnerships and community engagement specific to their programs.

At its founding in the late 1960s, UW-Green Bay employed a five-college model but budget cuts and consolidation reduced that number during the 1970s. With the exception of 1990-1996 (when there were three), the University has had two colleges through most of its history.

Miller calls that model outmoded, given the rising expectation for universities and their administrators to expand programming and generate revenue. Noting the four-college model approved Friday is common for institutions of UW-Green Bay’s size and scope, Miller says 10 of 13 UW System universities have four or more deans, only Superior has fewer than UW-Green Bay’s two, and only one has three.

The new academic structure has been endorsed by governance groups including UW-Green Bay’s Faculty Senate and its executive council, the University Committee.

“The reorganization proposal was a community effort,” Miller says. “I am deeply grateful to the faculty, staff and student leadership for their great wisdom and courage in a time of great change.”

The Chancellor also credited the University’s Council of Trustees for endorsing the plan and its vision of an outward-oriented and entrepreneurial University, where deans are empowered to be more accountable for programs in their areas.

“We are most fortunate to have an extremely active and informed Council,” Miller says. “That group of business leaders helped us develop the proposal and advocate for it to the Board of Regents. I want to thank Council of Trustees Chairman Lou LaCalsey and Advocacy Committee Chair Craig Dickman for their work.”

At present, the two deans reporting to the University’s primary academic administrator, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Greg Davis, are Scott Furlong, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Sue Mattison, dean of the College of Professional Studies. Major programs in Mattison’s area are Business, Education, Social Work and Nursing, while most other academic programs at UW-Green Bay report through Furlong.

It is expected that searches aimed at identifying candidates for the newly created deanships will begin in spring 2016.

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