In his first “State of the University” report as chancellor, Dr. John F. Carney III on Thursday (April 13, 2006) discussed plans to position UMR as one of the nation’s leading technological research universities.
The plan calls for increasing student enrollment, generating support for needed capital projects such as the new mechanical and aerospace engineering complex (Toomey Hall), obtaining increased private financial support for the university, reducing administrative costs by creating “a flatter, streamlined structure,” and generating new revenue sources for the university.
Carney discussed these topics with UMR students, faculty and staff during a meeting at noon on Thursday, April 13, in Miles Auditorium of Toomey Hall, UMR’s mechanical and aerospace engineering building.
Carney announced that the incoming class at UMR should again top 900 students. He added that cuts in administrative expenditures, coupled with increased revenue projections, have combined to improve UMR’s bottom line by approximately $4 million. As a result, the campus budget deficit will be reduced to an estimated $1.7 million in fiscal year 2007 from the current $5.7 million. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Carney also announced plans to reorganize the academic structure over the coming year. The move will eliminate the deans’ positions at UMR’s three schools and college: the School of Engineering, School of Management and Information Systems, School of Materials, Energy and Earth Resources, and College of Arts and Sciences. Under this restructuring, the academic department chairs will report directly to UMR’s provost, rather than to the deans of their respective schools.
The intent of eliminating the school structure is to enhance direct interaction among departments and the provost’s office and remove the dividing lines between schools, thereby encouraging more interdisciplinary activities, Carney said. Individual academic programs will not be affected by this administrative realignment and no layoffs are planned.
The transition to the no-school model will occur during the next fiscal year.