Liberal Arts, Science to boost university’s national renown
The new College of Liberal Arts, the largest academic unit on campus, and Nevada’s new College of Science, bolstered by nationally recognized departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, geography and several well-respected units formerly affiliated with the Mackay School of Mines, are debuting this year as part of the institution’s six-year strategic plan.
The top administrative official for the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is intrigued by his college’s potential for growth in instruction, research and community outreach in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
“That’s why I applied to be interim dean of the College of Arts and Science (in late 2002),” says Eric Herzik, named Oct. 23 as CLA interim dean. “Because even though I initially opposed the reorganization that split the college (also leading to the formation of the College of Science), I came to believe it was just a different way of doing business. Once that decision was made, it’s not a case of ‘we’re what’s left.’ We will continue to be the most visible intellectual center at the university. Roughly 60 percent of Core Curriculum courses will be in the College of Liberal Arts, so students from every college will be filtering through our college.”
Meanwhile, Nevada’s biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics departments, all academic units formerly affiliated with the College of Arts and Science, are grouped in the College of Science (COS). The geological sciences and mining engineering departments as well as the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Nevada Seismological Laboratory units from the former Mackay School of Mines are aligned with the geography department in the college’s new Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.
COS interim dean David Westfall, a Nevada pharmacology professor and former academic affairs vice president, says he cannot wait to tell the story about the strength of faculty in the new college.
“We’re at an important time in our civilization, focusing on the importance of technology in everyone’s life,” Westfall relates, adding that one of the remarkable assets of a great university is the connection between students and faculty involved in such research. “It’s a different mode of learning, and we can excel at that.”
Westfall also emphasized how the college, with its administration to be housed initially in Ross Hall on the Mackay Quadrangle, will be strengthened by the expertise of Mackay faculty members.
“The Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering has many supporters,” Westfall notes. “It is not disappearing. In fact, I really think it will flourish.”
Several components of the strategic plan went into effect July 1, 2003, including the movement of the chemical engineering and metallurgical and materials engineering divisions of the Mackay School of Mines to the College of Engineering. Additionally, the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies was transferred from the College of Education to the College of Human and Community Sciences.
Also, the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction was reconfigured into two new departments: Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, and Educational Specialties.
— Pat McDonnell