Education More News |

Augusta State University's largest college to split July 1

Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:21 PM
Last updated Friday, June 1, 2012 1:32 AM
  • Follow Education

The largest college within Augusta State University will divide into two entities July 1, a move officials say will offer students more focused instruction in each subject as consolidation with Georgia Health Sciences University approaches.

Back | Next
Students walk near Science Hall, one of two buildings housing the  Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences at Augusta State University. The college is splitting into two entities July 1.   JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Students walk near Science Hall, one of two buildings housing the Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences at Augusta State University. The college is splitting into two entities July 1.

The Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences will split into a college for arts and humanities and a separate college for the sciences, each with its own dean.

Carol Rychly, ASU vice president for academic affairs, said the split will allow each department to grow the student body, faculty, research dollars and grant opportunities.

“The thought is that we could be a little more focused if we had not such a broad portfolio of courses under one dean,” Rychly said.

Rychly is taking suggestions from faculty until June 8 for names of the two new colleges. Charles Clark, the dean of Pamplin College, will lead the new college housing arts and humanities. Sam Robinson, a professor and the chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, will be dean of the college overseeing the sciences.

Though the move is a change for ASU, splitting colleges is not uncommon in the world of higher education. Universities often divide their colleges of arts and sciences to focus efforts more narrowly, said Anne-Marie McCartan, the executive director for the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

Every year, about 10 percent of the 500 universities in the council either split their college or merge them back together after a divide, McCartan said.

She said there are benefits to both approaches of operation, but the best method depends on each institution. Schools often save money by consolidating colleges, in
effect reducing the number of deans. On the other hand, a split usually allows faculty to boast a more individualized education and increase a sense of identity within departments, she said.

“There’s no magic formula for what the correct division of labor is,” McCartan said.

After a wave of institutions split their arts and sciences to focus instruction 10 years ago, many are merging back together to save money as cuts to higher education continue, said Terrel Rhodes, the Association of American Colleges and Universities vice president for quality, curriculum and assessment.

“The trend that we’re actually seeing right now is some of the places that did that are now recombining them,” he said.

Colleges are also merging because of a renewed focus on communal learning across disciplines, Rhodes said.

“The colleges are starting to recognize that there’s more and more evidence that suggests they need students that can integrate their learning more,” Rhodes said. “By having colleges that are more narrowly focused, they find students spend more of their time there, there’s more integration of like people and there’s not much integration across disciplines.”

One of the promises of consolidation between ASU and GHSU is collaboration. Clark said he predicts more faculty in the arts and humanities will work with the health sciences departments after consolidation in instruction and research.

As of fall 2011, his college housed 4,520 of ASU’s 6,741 students. He said he expects growth after the split.

There could also be new undergraduate and graduate degree programs combining the two fields.

“The important thing is the people in the new college feel as if they have a voice and representation in what goes on there,” he said. “This is an exciting time for us. This is a good time.”


The Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences will split into two entities July 1.

• One college will house: art; communications and professional writing; English and foreign languages; history, anthropology and philosophy; music; political science; and sociology, criminal justice, and social work.

The dean will be Charles Lark, the current dean of the Pamplin College.

• The second college will house: chemistry and physics; biology; mathematics and computer science; military science; and psychology.

The dean will be Sam Robinson, a professor and the chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nevertoolate 06/01/12 - 06:11 am
Engineering Programs?

It's about time for ASU to offer Engineering programs. We have SRS and Plant Vogtle both building and in need of engineers, and that need will still be here long into the future. Engineering are among the most sought-after graduates, and often their starting pay is higher than most other disciplines. Progress, ASU. I hope this step leads to a common sense approach to what will best serve the population.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/01/12 - 08:05 am

I knew it. Instead of consolidating faculty and downsizing upper administration, they will be increasing it by creating new deanships and all the associated staff a dean demands. They should take advantage of the merger to cut staff, not increase it.

dstewartsr 06/01/12 - 08:06 am
Big Whoop

Lemme see if I got this one: Two deans for two colleges? Yeah. That means two deans, which equal two entire support staffs, two school structures. That has to be a big money saver.


pikeka 06/01/12 - 11:22 am
Split makes money too.

Katherine Reese Pamplin got the naming rights fairly cheaply back in the day I assume. By splitting and renaming, they can get a significant contribution from people or org to have the each school named/renamed after them.

re: soapy - most all Universities have colleges within... and most of those even have "schools" in them.

avidreader 06/01/12 - 11:19 am
Is it Clark or Lark?

The postscript reads Charles "Lark". I'm sure this is a typo. Lark, with or without an e, is an ominous moniker in this community.

CarlA 06/01/12 - 12:14 pm
I was reprimanded on here

I was reprimanded on here recently by bureaucrats, who probably have no idea about real world budgeting and finances, for calling out the GA BOR for increasing tuition AGAIN! But the consistent pattern is increasing spending with absolutely no effort into keeping costs in line.

They have to find something to spend the additional revenue received from the recently approved tuition increases.

The reality is the "split" programs will most likely not see any significant improvement from an academic standpoint. At least not enough of an improvement to justify the added costs.

MadeinAmerica 06/01/12 - 12:26 pm
Great news. This relatively

Great news. This relatively small investment will provide the New University with much greater potential for bringing in "soft money" that will improve student programs. Most other universities benefit hugely from soft money. Glad to know ASU has apparently decided to join the big leagues.

David Parker
David Parker 06/01/12 - 02:52 pm
I see no problem with

I see no problem with seperating two disciplines like that. Makes sense to have a specialized Dean. Will it yield more positives? Depends on alot of things that said Deans may have no control over.

Triplett 06/01/12 - 08:18 pm
Dean's Name - Pamplin College of Arts & Sciences

The correct name for the Dean is Charles W. Clark. He came to ASU in January (the week the consolidation was announced). Dean Clark came from the University of West Georgia. We are indeed fortunate to have him at ASU.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
FBI takes new look at Clinton emails
The FBI informed Congress Friday it is investigating whether there is classified information in new emails that have emerged in its probe of Hillary Clinton's private server.