To meet target budget reductions, the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at Humboldt State University has reduced administrative units going from 21 chairs to 11. Every single department has merged with at least one other department effective fall 2021. The only exceptions are Native American Studies, Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Sociology.
Three semesters ago, the CAHSS administration began discussing ways to meet budget reductions to address HSU’s overall budget shortfall. Rosamel Benavides-Garb, interim dean of the college, explained how CAHSS planned to reorganize and merge some departments to reduce the college’s expenses. On March 16 he sent a memorandum to CAHSS chairs detailing the approved mergers.
“Departments have merged but the new reorganization plan does not change existing academic programs, actually and intentionally, it preserves the academic integrity of every single program in our college,” wrote Benavides-Garb in the memorandum.
This semester Environmental Studies and Environment and Community (MA) merged into one administration, and Anthropology, Geography, Environment & Spatial Analysis, and World Languages and Cultures into another. The rest of the reorganization was just approved and will be effective fall 2021.
Though these mergers don’t fully resolve budget predicaments, they do help the college meet budget target reductions. Benavides-Garb closes the memorandum hopeful that these mergers will lead to more synergy within the college.
“I am already excited to see chairs, program leaders, and faculty discussing and developing new programs and opportunities for our students with the support of our capable staff,” Benavides-Garb wrote in the memorandum. “I remain hopeful in the collective power of our college and institution.”
Graphic by Sergio Berrueta
Featured image by Raul Mendoza