Departmental Reorganizations Announced

Reorganization steps are an effort to align long-term expenses and revenues.

Professor's Gate
May 26, 2016

The university is making organizational changes in central administrative offices in an effort to align expenses and revenues over the long term.

Reorganization efforts have been announced in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer, including the Division of Information Technology and the Office of Safety and Security, and in the Office of the Provost, including in the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) and GW Libraries and Academic Innovation.

The changes include office and departmental restructurings. About 40 positions have been eliminated, a number that includes vacant positions and positions left vacant by retiring employees.

The organizational moves come as the university works to reduce central administrative spending.

“We are doing this for two reasons: one is our concern about the growing need for financial support for undergraduates, which reduces net tuition revenue that we have to pay for the central administration,” George Washington President Steven Knapp said at the May Faculty Senate meeting. “The second has to do with our deliberate steps to decentralize our revenue control by giving the deans more control over revenues for graduate programs, off-campus programs and online programs.”

Reductions within central administration are part of a realignment of resources that many institutions are making so as to fund the aid families need, Interim Provost Forrest Maltzman said.

“Making these decisions is always extremely difficult, but is part of the reality of the higher education landscape,” he said.

“We’re trying to do this in a sensitive way to minimize the impact on our students and faculty,” Dr. Maltzman said. “For example, we’ve reduced our IT Support Center call hours—based on limited demand—as a way to strategically adjust services.”

Although every effort is being made to limit impact, Dr. Maltzman said, it is important to realize that the university can’t make these changes without some effect on those who work and study at GW. 

Reorganization in DSA, Safety and Security

A number of structural changes are also being implemented that the university is hopeful will provide services that are better coordinated. In DSA, for example, these changes include the creation of an executive director position to oversee the Colonial Health Center and a decision to transition the Office of Parent Services into a new department, Student Support and Family Engagement, that will be supported by current DSA personnel.

“I’m confident that these changes, which were thoughtfully developed with input from a variety of student, parent, staff, faculty and alumni stakeholders, will ensure we continue to provide exceptional service to students,” said Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski.

“We remain committed to providing an array of services to parents and families,” Dr. Konwerski said. “We believe this new structure will better align existing staff resources to work with the increasingly diverse mix of parents and families who work with the university to support their students through graduation. Parents and families want the best for their students, and the Student Affairs team is committed to providing the academic support resources that help students address their questions and concerns as we all work together to assist our students excel in and out of the classroom.”

The reorganization in the Office of Safety and Security will involve combining the Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Health and Safety to form the Office of Health and Emergency Management Services (HEMS). That change will take place this summer, said Darrell Darnell, senior associate vice president for safety and security.

The reorganization will enhance operational effectiveness within the two offices, Mr. Darnell said.

Corcoran changes

Separate from the cost alignment-related reorganization, the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design chose not to renew 10 of 19 one-year faculty contracts last week.

The faculty are being recommended for emeritus status with the university and are eligible to teach specific courses in the future, should the need arise, said Corcoran Director Sanjit Sethi.

“The review process was undertaken with a great deal of care,” Mr. Sethi said in a message to Corcoran students. “I considered several factors, including the school's current and projected enrollment, our operating budget, the merging of the Corcoran's programs with those current arts programs at GW, as well as feedback from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.”

More than 50 full-time faculty members will teach in the school next academic year.