By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
With only four months left in the life of an 88-year-old department, the university is finalizing plans to shift programs, change course codes and move departments.
Five departments will either accept additional majors or be rearranged to fill the space left by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, whose phase-out was announced Jan. 31 and will be completed in May.
“The biggest disadvantage is losing the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences,” said Dr. Colleen Durrington, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in laying the plans for this summer’s reshuffling of the Don H. Morris Center. “They are a very dedicated and effective department in preparing students for many different fields.”
With FCS gone, the majority of Sherrod Hall for Family and Consumer Sciences will be turned over to the Department of Communication, which currently resides on the south wing’s second floor in the Don Morris main building.
Department chair Joe Cardot summed up the move in one word: “hassle.”
“Over the next couple of months, we’re really more frustrated and confused than anything else,” Cardot said, adding that the department will be moving all its offices, faculty members and classroom materials while teaching spring, Maymester and summer classes.
The department, however, will have more classroom space in its new location, Cardot said.
Another major benefit will be the expansion of the communication disorders division, which will annex three offices from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“[The division is] really pressed for space; they’re kind of landlocked,” Cardot said. “That was a very positive thing.”
The three JMC faculty members will move to the second floor, giving that department at least a portion of all three floors and beginning its move toward creating a multimedia newsroom for its student publications and broadcasts.
“There are a few other JMC programs in the country that have built, or are in the process of building, a multimedia newsroom,” said Dr. Cheryl Bacon, chair of the department. “But none that we can identify is using theirs for students.” Bacon is also adviser to the Optimist.
The remainder of the second floor will be used by the interior design program, which will move from FCS to the Department of Art.
Two other departments-Exercise Science and Health and Sociology and Social Work-will absorb FCS programs, as well.
Nutrition and human development and family studies, respectively, will be kept after FCS graduates its last major.
The moves will help alleviate the overcrowded Don Morris Center, Durrington said, as well as pave the way for Communication and JMC to press forward with future plans.
“We’ve known for some time that Don Morris is crowded,” she said. “Don Morris and Chambers are the two most crowded buildings in our college.”
Cardot said bigger classrooms will allow the Communication Department to create a speech lab-much like the Department of English’s writing lab-that would help students with speech and language problems.