Cherry Blossoms

Humanities Advising Consolidation

Overview and commonly asked questions

On November 8, Division Dean of the Humanities Brian Reed announced a reorganization of advising in the Humanities Division. This change is designed to improve and provide a consistent undergraduate advising experience across the Humanities Division through a consolidation of undergraduate advising at the Divisional level. 

The reorganization will impact professional advising staff positions at the unit level. The new, consolidated structure includes 6 employees in a divisional advising center, reporting to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Senior Director of Advising.

The new structure is slated to launch on July 1, 2020. Affected employees have been informed and are being provided support though the University’s Human Resources programs. The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to supporting affected staff throughout the transition period. Affected employees are encouraged to apply for new, Division-level advising positions.

Questions and Answers:

Is this reorganization just within the Humanities Division?

Yes. Brian Reed, the Divisional Dean of the Humanities, looked for ways to improve the student experience in Humanities while driving operational efficiencies. The Divisional Dean met with Department Chairs with affected staff individually prior to the final decision and announced the final decision to the group on Friday, November 8. 

The reorganization includes advisors that serve the 12 academic units within the Humanities Division, including the following units: Asian Languages & Literature; Classics; Comparative History of Ideas; Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media Studies; English; French & Italian Studies; Germanics; Linguistics; Near Eastern Languages & Civilization; Scandinavian Studies; Slavic Studies; and Spanish & Portuguese Studies.

Why is this change happening?

Currently advising in the Humanities Division is not consistently distributed between all 12 academic units. While some units have a full-time advisor, other units share advisors or have part time advising staff. Three departments have no professional staff advising. Thus the student advising experience for each department varies based on the advising staffing (or lack thereof) for that department.

Under the new, consolidated Humanities advising structure, the advising function will include the labor-intensive and specialized task of curriculum management, course scheduling, and enrollment management.  The consolidated time schedule entry and oversight for the management of curriculum within the division will ensure class scheduling and curricular cohesion that support student interests and may ease bottlenecks to degree time within the Division.

How many people are affected by this change?

The reorganization impacts 9 positions.

Academic Student Employees (ASE)/Graduate Staff Assistants who perform work related to undergraduate advising will be assigned other ASE duties. Funding related to this work will be retained by the departments. 

How will this possible reorganization impact students’ access to advising?

Current humanities majors will continue to access academic advising services through professional advising within the Humanities Division. Premajors will continue to be served through central offices (Undergraduate Academic Affairs, OMA/D EOP Counseling, etc.).

What happens if faculty members are providing advising services?

Faculty who are currently providing undergraduate advising should connect with their department chair. 

What happens to extra work outside advising completed by staff who also serve as undergraduate advisors?

The College’s advising team will work with current staff to determine the level of undergraduate advising as part of their work. From these conversations departments will work with the Divisional Dean and other College staff members to determine levels of support needed to cover other duties.