This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
This year at USU-CEU, many changes will be taking effect, leading CEU in a positive direction.
Greg Benson, a CEU faculty member since 1999, has been appointed by Chancellor Joe Peterson to be vice chancellor for academic affairs and student services. With past experience as the dean of arts and sciences and interim vice president for academic affairs, Benson has many ideas for the 2010-2011 school year.
Benson expects many positive adjustments to occur for students and faculty. The current academic affairs and student services structure will be altered somewhat, and bachelor degrees in new programs, and possibly even graduate degrees, will be offered.
CEU faculty will become a part of a USU academic department. Currently, a few members are teaching classes to USU students. More teachers will be offered this opportunity in the coming years. First, CEU administration need to work with USU administration to line up the bell schedule so classes begin and end on a closer schedule. “There will be opportunities to coordinate things more easily, be more efficient, be more effective,” Benson states.
Right now, he is working on integrating faculty into USU departments, reviewing courses, and generally seeing how CEU blends with USU. “We are becoming part of a much larger and very integrated system.”
In the future, Benson trusts that the number of students attending CEU will increase with the merger. “We’re on a good pace to exceed last year’s fall enrollment.” In future years, an increase of 500 to 1,000 students, or more, over current levels may be possible.
Benson states that much will remain the same for the time being, but changes will occur in phases over the coming months and years. “With the union of academic affairs and student services under one vice chancellor, we can coordinate with a bit more ease and reexamine how we recruit, enroll, support, and retain students through to graduation…Over the coming decade, the importance of a certificate or degree beyond high school will be emphasized in our state and across the country, so the College will be in a position to offer more education and training to more students.”
Growth across many academic and career technical programs is expected. There has been early discussion that programs like criminal justice and nursing may be extended to the USU campuses, and bachelor degrees in social work and natural resources, among others, are being brought to CEU. “Local need and student demand will influence program offerings.”
This year, Benson will oversee heads of many units that fall under the academic divisions, academic services, enrollment management, auxiliaries, student services, and the library. Along with the other vice chancellors, Benson will be working closely with the chancellor and will report all progress directly to him.