UO leaders appoint task force to analyze structure of CAS

CAS banner at commencement

University of Oregon Provost Jayanth Banavar and President Michael Schill recently announced the membership of a task force that will analyze the structure of the College of Arts and Sciences to determine if there are better ways to serve students and elevate research in the liberal arts.

The college is the largest academic unit at the university, serving more than 62 percent of all credit hours taken by students.

Banavar said in a message sent to college faculty and staff this week that the fundamental goal of the task force will be to answer the question: “What structure will allow us to best to deliver on our goal of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and creative?”

“Part of that discussion will include an examination of the current internal CAS structure, the relative advantages and disadvantages of the structure, and determining whether we have the most effective organization to meet our liberal arts mission,” Banavar said in his message.

The task force also will be asked to examine if changes in the college would help or hinder academic relationships with other schools or colleges at UO. The group will meet regularly throughout the academic year and issue a report to leadership in mid-April about its findings. Task force meetings will be open to the public.

UO leaders sought task force members by asking faculty members and staff to nominate candidates from across the university. The final list of 22 members was reached this week. The task force members are:

  • Elliot Berkman, CAS, natural sciences, psychology, associate professor.
  • Tina Boscha, CAS, humanities, English, senior instructor.
  • Melissa Bowers, CAS, humanities, English, officer of administration, department manager.
  • Ben Brinkley, CAS, information technology, officer of administration, director.
  • Karen Ford, CAS, task force chair, humanities, English, professor and senior divisional dean.
  • Pedro García-Caro, CAS, humanities, romance languages, associate professor.
  • Spike Gildea, CAS, humanities, linguistics, professor.
  • Monica Guy, CAS, social sciences, environmental studies, officer of administration, office manager.
  • Bruce McGough, CAS, social sciences, economics, professor and department head.
  • Betsy McLendon, CAS advisory board member.
  • Juan-Carlos Molleda, School of Journalism and Communication, professor of communications and dean.
  • Gabe Paquette, Clark Honors College, professor of history and international studies, dean.
  • Craig Parsons, CAS, social sciences, political science, professor and department head.
  • Mike Price, CAS, natural sciences, math, senior instructor.
  • Tyrone Russ, CAS, information technology, classified staff, buyer.
  • Brad Shelton, Office of the Provost, natural sciences, math, executive vice provost.
  • Janelle Stevenson, CAS, natural sciences, biology, graduate student.
  • Joe Sventek, CAS, natural sciences, computer and information science, professor and department head.
  • Richard Taylor, CAS, natural sciences, physics, professor and department head.
  • Frances White, CAS, social sciences, anthropology, professor and department head.
  • Rocío Zambrana, CAS, humanities, philosophy, associate professor.

Teri Rowe, the department manager for economics and sociology, will provide staff support to the task force. An undergraduate student will also be part of the task force, but the student has yet to be chosen.