It has been an unusual month with the spread of COVID-19. We are each continuing to learn. Provost Carol Erting and I are using remote technologies to generate this bilingual message to you, our faculty. We continue to be grateful for and inspired by faculty leadership, innovation, and support of our students. Your commitment to a rapid transition to an online learning context and to continue adapting and learning together has been an important model for all of us during this time. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to our mission.
Today, we are following up on our commitment to communicate a formal decision regarding restructuring. As you are aware, since the Fall of 2018, faculty and administrators have worked together in the context of shared governance to develop a proposal for restructuring Academic Affairs. In January 2020, faculty governance held a two-day retreat with invited presenters and faculty dialogue on the proposed restructuring. During January and February, the Academic Affairs Senior Administrators (AASA) and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (SEC) held several open dialogue sessions and conversations with academic departments to further understand faculty perspectives on restructuring. Then, on March 2, the Faculty Senate provided feedback on the proposed model. This has been a robust shared governance process.
As President and Provost, we are announcing that Gallaudet University will move forward with the academic restructuring from 16 departments to five multidisciplinary schools. The strength of shared governance and collective leadership in adapting to both COVID-19-related short-term needs and the longer-term needs of our mission affirms our confidence that this is the right direction for Gallaudet University to thrive. I would also like to thank Provost Erting and Faculty Chair Ennis for their consistent, steady leadership throughout this process.
Additionally, we are confirming that because we will be transitioning to the new structure during the next year, current department chairs will continue to serve during Academic Year 2020-2021. We agree that this approach to implementation will help provide the infrastructure needed to support the success of restructuring.
Given the rapid changes with COVID19, we are extending the timeline for announcing interim provost and related academic leadership until the end of April. Thank you for your patience as we all continue to adapt and move forward together.
Roberta J. Cordano
Carol J. Erting