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The Merging of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Housing and Food Services

Frequently Asked Questions

June 30, 2014

1. Q. How does this reorganization make things better?
• The reason for coming together is to create an intentionally designed division that focuses on the personal, professional and intellectual growth of Purdue’s students.

2. Q. What is the timeline?
• March 25, 2014: President Daniels announces appointment of committee to implement merging of departments consistent with Foundations of Excellence recommendation.
• Phase I. April 1 – June 30, 2014: committee develops high-level framework.
• Phase II. July 1 – December 31, 2014: designated leaders build out and refine each area making up the new division.
• Follow up: July 2015: committee reconvenes to evaluate structure, assess effectiveness, recommend adjustments if needed.

3. Q. Who will lead the new organization?
• The new organization will be led by a Vice Provost to be named and Provost Dutta is actively participating in the process in the interim.

4. Q. Where will the new organization be located?
• This will be determined by need; many units will stay where they are, some may move. It is too early to know details at this time, but it is fair to say that the area leaders will be working hard to develop productive cross-functional relationships that enhance our ability to serve students well.

5. Q. What happens to my current job during the transition to the new organization?
• For now, continue to do what you’re doing. After July 1, your designated leader will contact you to discuss a transition plan.

6. Q. Will there be staff reductions?
• Where changes are necessary, staff will be offered new or different positions within the new organization to the maximum extent possible.

7. Q. Will students provide input to the structure of the new organization?
• The students’ perspective is very important. Phase II will present many opportunities for student feedback and adjustments. We will do all we can to be responsive to student needs and to maintain a student-centered structure.

8. Q. Are graduate students and international students included?
• Yes, these students will continue to receive the services and support they receive today, and their needs will be incorporated into the new organization.

9. Q. How can faculty support this effort?
• Faculty are encouraged to help students integrate learning in and outside of the classroom.

10.Q. How does the new organization impact resource allocation?
• Resources will be focused on programmatic activities for the greatest efficiencies and to maximize student benefit.

11.Q. Will related business operations change (business office, IT, HR, Marketing & Media)?
• These areas will be adjusted as needed to meet the needs of the new organization.

12.Q. Where does diversity fit into this organization?
• This model is designed to serve all students. We will rely upon the expertise of our Division of Diversity and Inclusion, International Programs, and other vital areas to ensure an inclusive approach to the delivery of programs and services to our entire student body.

13.Q. Will there be physical moves?
• Some individuals may be asked to move where it makes the most sense to provide the most efficient student support.

14.Q. If my job changes, will I get a raise?
• Although market forces must be taken into account, adjustments to compensation may be considered if responsibility and scope of assignment change significantly.

15.Q. Why is this organization aligned under the Provost’s office?
• This placement recognizes the importance of building a fully integrated learning environment for students both in and outside of classroom.

16.Q. Why six units?
• The six designated units were identified as a starting point. The leaders of the units will work together to monitor the division and refine it, if necessary, going forward.

17.Q. How does this new organizational framework compare with other universities?
• Although similar departments work together at other universities (e.g., Oregon State and NC State), Purdue's Student Academic Affairs division is unique in its structure and its intentional focus on the personal, professional and intellectual growth of Purdue’s students.

18.Q. I feel like my unit or program belongs under a different area than the one it is assigned to – can it be changed?
• The committee held in-depth discussions in order to determine the most appropriate area for each unit or program. All areas will work collaboratively to ensure that units and programs are well represented throughout the division. The current model will be evaluated in one year to ensure that assignments are working well for everyone.

19.Q. Shouldn’t we retain the identities of existing areas or brands that students have come to know and count on?
• We want one division that will enhance the total student experience, while retaining units that have a successful track record of quality and excellence. We recognize that there are some key traditions and identities that have value, and it will be beneficial for students and the university for us retain them, and we will.