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FAQs - College of Arts and Sciences & School of Science and Engineering

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the reimagined College of Arts and Sciences and the new School of Science and Engineering at Saint Louis University.

When did this process begin?

The examination began with the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) two years ago. A task force was established by then-Interim Provost Chet Gillis in Dec 2019 to review the structure of A&S and provide recommendations to the Provost on the future structure of the College.

What do you hope to accomplish with these reorganizations?

Our goal was to better align our arts, humanities, social sciences, and science programs that will lead to enhanced collaboration between similar programs, and allow us to better address student success and educational outcomes, as well as focus our efforts on key diversity, equity and inclusion issues.

It is important to know that none of the academic programs are changing, and this reorganization will have no impact on current and future students’ degree completion or time to graduation. 

What changes are taking place as a result of this reorganization?

A&S will be reimagined with fewer departments than before, and a new School of Science and Engineering (SSE) will be established with some science departments from the current A&S and the departments in the current Parks college moving into a new school.

The reimagined A&S will house the following departments starting next academic year:

  • African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • English
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Health Care Ethics
  • History
  • Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Theological Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies

The newly  established SSE will see the movement of several departments from the current A&S, and include the departments in the current Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology:

  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • Parks Department of Aviation Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil, Computer and Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Physics
What is the timeline for these changes?

The two new colleges/schools will begin operating at the start of the next academic year (AY2022-23), which begins on July 1, 2022.

For the remainder of the current academic year (2021-22), the faculty, staff and administrators in each of the new colleges will establish structures, policies and procedures to govern the new colleges when they begin operating, per the Faculty Manual.

This implementation phase will include activities such as:

  • Establishing a structure for the dean's office and administrative positions
  • Creating policies and procedures to govern faculty matters within the respective colleges, such as workload, promotion and tenure, etc.
  • Establishing a new faculty council/assembly and corresponding rules/procedures
What process and guiding principles did Provost Lewis follow in coming to his final decision?

Provost Lewis followed the reorganization process outlined in the Faculty Manual, Section III.I.11, p. 47.

In addition to over 40 listening sessions that Provost Lewis held with the community during the previous (2020-21) and current (2021-22) academic years, he has shared the guiding principles he heard from the community: 

  • Reorganization should align with the University’s Catholic Jesuit Mission
  • Reorganization should aim to improve student outcomes
  • Enhancing equity should be a primary aim of reorganization
  • Reorganization should advance the new University Core

The Provost also accepted alternative proposals and statements of support from the community in the fall of 2021, of which he received several alternatives and dozens of statements of support.

What happened to the divisional structures in the Provost’s initial proposal?

After receiving feedback from the community, the divisional structure in each college was purposely removed to allow the deans’ offices and faculty more freedom in establishing a structure that works best for them. This will allow the new colleges more flexibility in how they assign work to associate deans and other positions (i.e., based on function rather than division).

Why isn’t the new School of Science and Engineering keeping the Parks name?

The SSE is being established as a new school entirely that will merge departments from the old A&S and current Parks College. The Parks name will be kept with the new Parks Department of Aviation Science, as was outlined in the original gift agreement from Oliver Parks.

What will the name of the new SSE be?

  • The new SSE will hold a generic name for now. It is possible that in the future a donor or donors may make a naming gift for the new school.
Will this require additional faculty or staff in the new colleges?

Provost Lewis has committed to startup and ongoing investments in the two colleges to support the new administrative structures, the need for expanded advising, and other student success areas that will be critical in the establishment of the new colleges.

The current A&S and Parks both have interim deans leading them. Will permanent deans be in place for the new schools? Will searches be conducted?

For now, the interim deans in the current A&S and Parks will remain as interim deans for the new colleges, and Provost Lewis will work with each college/school on plans to search for permanent deans.

I am an alum of Parks College, what does this mean to me that my college will cease to exist?

The Parks name will continue to be an important part of the new college, which will continue to host the aviation and engineering programs. The Parks Department of Aviation Science within the new college recognizes the history of the name and aligns with the gift that led to the Parks name.

As a Parks alum, should I be concerned this could impact my future job searches, since my college won’t exist anymore?

Your degree is awarded by SLU -- not a college/school within SLU. Your transcript and related data (which is what employers and graduate schools seek) will always confirm that. Most never actually know the name of the SLU college/school via which your academic program was offered. 

Additionally, your college still exists, and it has grown. Several science-based programs have been merged with the aviation and engineering programs, making your college larger and more robust. 

As a current A&S science student, does this mean I’ll now be graduating from the newly-formed school?

You’ll be graduating from SLU, and your degree is awarded by SLU -- not a college/school within SLU. Your transcript and related data (which is what employers and graduate schools seek) will always confirm that. Most never actually know the name of the college/school via which your academic program was offered. 

Beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year, programs in Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Physics will be offered via the newly-formed school (as will all the Aviation Science and Engineering programs).