By Peter Stein
The General Faculties Council unanimously approved changing the Faculty of Continuing Education from a faculty to a department Thu., Jan, 29. The GFC decision brings the faculty one step toward realizing its long- time goal. The last hurdle is approval by the University of Calgary Board of Governors before Continuing Education can officially become U of C Continuing Education.
If Continuing Education does in fact become a department, the change will have little effect on students explains Dr. John Humphrey, Dean of the Faculty of Continuing Education.
“The change is purely structural,” explained Dr. Humphrey.
Students’ Union Vice-President Academic Demetrios Nicolaides reinforced the importance of the switch.
“Transferring the faculty into an academic unit would help reduce university expenses [allocated] to uphold the faculty, and allow more of an op- portunity for the new Continuing Education to gen- erate revenue,” said Nicolaides.
The Faculty of Continuing Education currently has three central mandates, which will ultimately develop if the change of status is passed: offering lifelong learning opportunities for the community, providing special session credit courses (spring/summer) on behalf of the faculties and generating funds to support the university’s educational and research priorities.
The move will allow Continuing Education to become independent from faculty regulations but at the same time increase cooperation with all the faculties at the university.
“The Faculty of Continuing Education has always been unique among faculties at the U of C, and this restructuring recognizes our differences and allows us to focus on what we do best–the provision of university-quality lifelong learning opportunities for the Calgary community and the facilitation of extra sessional credit offerings for the university,” explained Dr. Humphrey.
Nicolaides also highlighted another benefit.
“Additionally, the move would allow the faculty to free up some professors,” he said.
The restructuring process began earlier last year when the Masters of Continuing Education program was moved to the Faculty of Education from the Faculty of Continuing Education. If things go as planned at the Board of Governors meeting next month, the new structure will be implemented July 1, 2004.