Talks are underway about a merger between the departs of anthropology and archaeology.
“The decision hasn’t been finalized,” said faculty of arts dean Richard Sigurdson, “but both departments have now shown a willingness to take serious steps to move forward.”
A consolidation committee with members from both departments is currently working on a public report. Sigurdson said there will be more concrete discussion after the report is released.
Sigurdson said a merger would increase administrative efficiency, benefiting students and staff. He stressed that this is not a cost-cutting measure.
“There will be efficiencies that will be realized, but we’re not doing it to cut positions.”
Students’ Union arts representative Levi Nilson said there has been a mixed response from faculty about the possible merger.
“It just seems like there’s a lot of bickering,” Nilson said. “There’s a lot of pushback. Some people want it, some people don’t.”
In an email, anthropology department head Mary Pavelka assured students that the merger would not impact current programs or degrees.
“Yes, there is a concern that the programs might be diminished by merging,” Sigurdson said. “That’s not intended.”
Consolidation of departments in the faculty of arts is not new. Last year, the department of linguistics merged with German Slavic and East Asian studies to form the department of linguistics languages and cultures.
A similar merger is being discussed regarding the department of Greek and Roman studies and the department of religion.