CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An academic reorganization underway at Marshall University that will consolidate some of the school's colleges has the potential to save up to half a million dollars, chief of staff Matt Turner said Friday.The change will merge the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications with the School of Music and Theatre and the School of Art and Design to form a new college that has yet to be named.The Graduate School of Education and Professional Development will join the existing education department to become a more comprehensive College of Education.Turner said with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's proposed budget cuts to education, the consolidation can only be for the better.
"This wasn't done just as a response to the potential budget cuts, but if we're going to be looking at those types of reductions, these are moves you want to make. It's not specific to the decrease of funding on the horizon, but with any higher education leader in West Virginia right now, you're obviously going to be looking at some major changes," he said.Donald Van Horn, current dean of the College of Fine Arts, will become the dean of the new journalism-arts college, and Janet Dooley, interim dean of the journalism school, will become associate dean and director of the new school.Teresa Eagle, dean of Graduate Education and Professional Development, will become the dean of the new College of Education.The retirement of two longtime administrators, Rudy Pauley and Donna Spindel, is helping make the transition as smooth as possible, Turner said.But Turner said the reorganization isn't about the money."It's not just a merger. There is a great number of opportunities for developing degree programs that will help our students very much so in the long run. Van Horn recognizes that roles are constantly changing and sees a lot of potential for the growth in these fields by sharing resources. He has a tremendous vision for this," he said. "This could provide even greater training opportunities better matched with the world today."Van Horn has formed a committee of journalism and arts faculty to develop policies and procedures, as well as to recommend a name for the new college.The changes are effective July 1.Reach Mackenzie Mays at email@example.com or 304-348-4814.