Divorce court: faculty may break
By Dave Yasvinski
Part-time and continuing education studies will disassociate itself from the faculty of communications and open learning before next year if a proposal to go before Western's Senate in March is passed.
Greg Moran, VP-academic and acting dean of the faculty, said the merger between the graduate school of journalism, the faculty of library and information sciences and part-time and continuing education studies last year has not gone as planned.
"When we made changes [in the summer], we attached continuing studies as a unit associated with [FCOL], but it is not working out. It is time to bring it back to the centre of the university lock, stock and barrel," Moran said.
If the proposal passes, continuing education studies would become a centre by itself, while the merged graduate schools of journalism and information sciences will be renamed.
David Spencer, an associate journalism professor, said this re-organization is not a question of priorities but rather different mandates. "It was one of those things where we thought we had something in common and we didn't," Spencer said.
Although it was similar technology which initially associated continuing studies with the school of journalism and information sciences, Spencer said it was far more difficult to forge common bonds than they thought. He added this move will provide a good future for both departments.
Moran added the move has a lot to do with identity. "People within this faculty were worried that the external community would not recognize them centrally," he said.
But Paula Platero, president of the Association of Continuing Education Students, is concerned about the low priority part-time students receive. "There is a trend to ignore part-time student issues," Platero said.
She said she is concerned because now it will be up to individual faculties to decide which aspects of part-time and continuing education studies they wish to subsidize and those not subsidized by the government will no longer be offered.
Platero said this move might end up being a good thing but was not overly optimistic. "Will a centre be enough? It was a whole faculty before," she said.