From WILL - News Headlines -

U of I College of Media Interim Dean Says Structural Review is Well Underway

The Interim Dean of the University of Illinois' College of Media said the next several months will tell a lot about the department's structure.

The latest in a series of Urbana campus reviews looked at Media and three other colleges with fewer than 40 faculty members for cost savings. While the 'Stewarding Excellence' report endorsed no specific restructuring plan, the project team said the College of Media must evaluate its internal structure for long-term viability. College Interim Dean Jean Slater said some shared services were underway when the study started, in areas like information technology and human resources, but she said it is too early to see what the cost savings might be.

"At some point we have to assume the cost somehow, but if two colleges are sharing one HR person, or the HR function, then the efficiencies go up and the cost would be reduced individually," Slater said. "But I think it's hard to put a number to that right now."

Interim Dean Jan Slater said the challenge now is finding how large a structure it can support, since the college is solely dependent on tuition, but she said nothing is off limits.

"We do have somebody from outside looking at our information technology structure within the college, how we work things with WILL," Slater said. "Should we be doing more of that? And so we're looking at those kinds of things. We're going to be doing a space study after the first of the year after the construction with Greg Hall is done."

The project team reviewing the college says its biggest challenges include the Department of Advertising's request to transfer out of the college, and adapting the Journalism Department to the changing nature of the profession.

Slater was named Interim Dean of the College of Media in July. When her term is up in July 2012, she said questions about the College's size and mission need to be answered. WILL and Illinois Public Media are part of the College of Media. The same campus project team also reviewed the Schools of Social Work, Labor and Employee Relations, and the Graduate School of Library Information and Sciences.

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