The “preliminary draft of a possible college structure” was presented Monday by KSU to a committee of 40 faculty and administrators charged with deciding the fate of Southern Poly’s name in the merged institution as well as its organizational structure and new vision and mission statements.
This group, expanded from an original 28 members, is going to meet five times during the next five weeks, according to SPSU President Lisa Rossbacher. To get the job done by the Feb. 14 target set by KSU President Dan Papp, no less than 81 “operational work groups,” with eight to 10 members each, must start meeting no later than Jan. 30.
That’s going to be a whale of a lot of work and man/woman-hours. Math is not my strong suit. But let’s try a little multiplication per the formula for figuring man-hours. Give the 81 groups each an average of nine members (splitting the difference between eight and 10 per above) and that’s 729 persons on committees. If each of the 81 committees meets five times as proposed for one hour, that’s 15 hours for each committee, which multiplied by 729 total members equal 10,935 man/woman-hours. Is that correct, Southern Poly mathematicians?
Anyway, it’s mind boggling to think about how many hours will be spent by faculty, staff, students, alumni, et al trying to figure out how to mix two disparate universities. Papp said last month the consolidation planning would involve as many students, faculty and alumni as possible. He said the groups “will be looking at the nitty gritty details.” And understating it, no doubt, he predicted the merger will be a long and arduous process.
The good news for the Southern Poly community is that its name is preserved in the preliminary draft presented Monday. But only one of 13 proposed colleges would bear the name: the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.
Asked why all the SPSU fields including software engineering and architecture and construction management would not retain the name, KSU vice president for academic affairs Ken Harmon simply said civil engineering and engineering technology constituted SPSU’s best known and most prominent curriculum — which was about the same as saying, “Your other fields are not well known or prominent enough.” Papp said the proposed structure is similar to what Georgia Tech does — which may be great for Tech but hardly satisfies Southern Poly folks.
Again, it’s good that the Southern Poly identity was not obliterated in the proposed structure for the “consolidation” of the two universities. But there is no apparent good reason for dropping the name from other SPSU major fields of study. Why shouldn’t it be retained in those fields? It’s something that needs serious revisiting before this long and arduous process is finished.