School reorganization causes confusion

by | Oct 1, 2019 | News

Donna Akbari, News Reporter

The reorganization and renaming of Humber College’s faculties at the beginning of the school year caused a bit of confusion and a minor identity crisis.

A chief reason for the transition from “schools” to “faculties” was to provide students with greater opportunity to collaborate with other programs and faculties, said Alvina Cassiani, Humber’s senior dean of the Faculty of Business.

“If our programs are narrow and don’t have opportunities to work with other programs, to work with industry, to bring multiple perspectives, to do applied research, then we are not preparing our students for the reality of how work is going to be,” she told Et Cetera.

“They’ll need to work with others, they need to have the ability to be flexible and listen to other perspectives,” Cassiani said.

Dawn Macaulay, Humber’s associate dean of Liberal Arts, said a primary goal was to create a more collaborative learning environment.

One of the first concerns that arose when Humber’s academic plan began was the terminology change from college to university level, she said.

Dawn Macaulay, Associate Dean of Liberal Studies, says that “the goal of the reorganization of faculty is to create a collaborative learning environment”. (Donna Akbari)

Some students expressed concern about what the change means for their workload and professors.

Deanna Defrancesca, a creative photography student, said college has certain benefits that university does not and she hoped Humber does not become a university.

“I like the slower place that college provides and I know that I can handle it better,” Defrancesca said.

“The reason why I didn’t want to go to university, to begin with, was because of the workload.”

 Despite her worries, she said it is important for programs to be able to collaborate through research and other projects so students can collaborate with those who do not have a similar mindset.

“I find that people who are in the same program, though they have different mindsets, they still have their similarities that are a little uncanny,” Defrancesca said.

“The only time that we are able to collaborate in a professional setting with those who are in completely different programs is during our general electives courses,” she said.

Macaulay explained the same faculty members are reporting to the same associate deans and that students are unlikely to notice differences under the changes.

“It impacts the professors’ sense of identity more than the students,” Macaulay said. “Students usually talk about my program, not my school, I go to Humber and this is my program.”

Shay Kedroe, vice-president of IGNITE, said it’s too early to determine the impact of Humber’s academic plan.

“I know anything that Humber does, they’ve thought long and hard about, so it benefits the school in the long run, it’s just too early to see the results as of this time,” she said.