by Jaclyn Roco
Editor in Chief
Last month the University of La Verne Board of Trustees approved the merger of the schools of Public Affairs and Health Administration and the School of Business and Global Studies.
They will form the College of Business and Public Management effective July 1.
The merger is part of a plan to streamline academic operations in the University, said Gordon Badovick, dean of the School of Business and Global Studies, who will take over as dean of the combined colleges.
“What the University is planning is to form four major academic units,” Badovick added.
The College of Business and Public Management will provide academic units on campus alongside the already established College of Arts and Sciences and College of Law, he said.
The fourth component is the School of Education and Organizational Leadership, which is planning a name change to the College of Education and Organizational Leadership within the next month or so, said Leonard Pellicer, dean of that school.
“We need a system that is consistent,” Pellicer said.
Recognizing that there are these three distinct academic areas arts and sciences and the two professional programs of business and education forming distinct colleges was the best way to restructure, Badovick said.
The merger process involved an administrative decision.
After Badovick worked with the faculty to come up with the recommendation, Dick McDowell, provost and vice president for academic affairs, took the proposal to the Board of Trustees on April 25.
“There was no logical reason to keep (the schools) separate,” Badovick said. “It is more efficient, and there are more advantages to combine resources.
“It was a logical time to elevate them to make them colleges to be consistent,” he added.
Part of the University’s strategic planning was to “not be so fragmented and to create an opportunity for people to work together,” McDowell said, adding, “this is a chance to market together another way to focus.”
Among the programs that will be attached to the College of Business and Public Management will be public administration, health administration, organizational management and the master’s program in leadership and management, which has moved from the School of Education and Organizational Leadership.
There will be eight undergraduate majors, six graduate programs and a doctorate in public administration included in this new school, Badovick said.
Since all of these programs share the management theme, it was only appropriate to combine all of them into a single entity, Badovick said.
“In the past, we’d have public administration doing their own marketing, education doing their own and business.
“We will be able to market all management-related courses under one school,” he said.
Badovick said that most administrators supported the merger plans.
He added that despite some minor concerns the faculty would feel “dwarfed” because of the business school’s large size.
“There were also some concerns that the programs would simply be blended into business, and we would lose identity,” Badovick said. “I don’t see how we can come up with (the name) College of Business and Public Management and imply that (it is) geared to business.”
He added that the merged school should save ULV money by streamlining administration.
“I think this is very, very good,” said Rita Thakur, professor of business and economics.
“We can offer more choices, fewer sections and fewer classes. It would be more effective and efficient,” Thakur said.
“Now all different areas marketing, finance, accounting, economics and disciplines can combine and work together. It’s so nice to have a larger college with more faculty to discuss different topics and work with each other,” Thakur said.
Thakur also said, “It’s much better for the students.”
Keith Schildt, associate professor of public administration, agreed, “I believe we can achieve some economies of scale that will benefit our students as well as the University community.”
Badovick added, “By putting (the schools) together, we are building an identity in the region.”