Cherry Blossoms

Questions from CAS Advising Meeting

December 3, 2019

Kevin Mihata and Cynthia Caci met with CAS advisors. Below are some key questions raised by advisors.

How many students will be served by the Humanities Advising Hub?

As of Autumn 2019, there are 935 undergraduates declared in Humanities majors. In Spring 2018 there were 1090. The advising hub will also work with pre majors, presumably comparable to the current load in those departments.

Why was a decision made before consulting with each department about advising workload?

In 2015-16 a working group of CAS advisors surveyed all advisors in the college. The survey revealed significant inconsistency in the work advisors were doing across departments; different advisors had very different responsibilities. While core undergraduate advising will move to the central unit, the goal of ongoing conversations with individual departments is to ensure that any non-advising work done by advisors (which will not be consolidated) can be identified and addressed.  

Is this advising model used anywhere else?

We have consulted with colleagues using various centralized advising models, including several separate colleges within the University of Utah, Arizona State University, and the University of Oregon.

Is this move a precursor to closing these Humanities departments?

There are no plans for departmental consolidation.

Will there be any attempt to hire the current Humanities advisors into these roles? Will you limit applications to current UW employees only?

The positions will be open to all applicants. We have encouraged all current advisors to apply.

Does the curriculum specialist role do time scheduling?

Yes, for departments whose advisor currently does time schedule and curriculum work, and who choose to move that work into this unit. No department will be required to do so.

Is the Transition Project Analyst a limited-term/duration appointment?

Yes, for a minimum of 2-3 years, with the possibility of continuation.

Does the Transition Project Analyst exist elsewhere on campus? Do they do advising?

We do not know of this particular position elsewhere on campus.

How will this impact advising for departmental minors?

The advising hub will advise students in any Humanities minor.

How will this impact central advising units?

The advising hub will see the same number of Humanities students currently seen by departments, so we expect no increased load on central units. We expect more coordination with central units because it will be easier for those units to coordinate with one consolidated unit than with 12 individual units.

Will this pass work onto faculty, instructors, or other staff?

In the transition, departmental staff or faculty may see some increased workload as students learn to go to the advising hub. That should diminish quickly, as the advising staff will make it their mission to ensure that students know where to go and that departmental faculty and staff know where to direct them.

Is this just a cost-cutting move?

The expectation is that the consolidation will increase efficiency in the long run. However, the college is investing additional resources to ensure the smoothest possible transition, so we do not expect significant short-term savings.

What is the mention of “students not getting good advising” in Brian Reed’s letter referring to?

The advising hub will provide more consistent student access (since there will be multiple full-time, 12-month staff) than individual departmental advisors can provide. This is not a negative reflection on departmental advisors.

Is there a space/location set for the advising hub? If some students have to go across campus for services, is this fair?

The advising hub will be in Padelford Hall, where the majority of Humanities students already receive advising, and students already navigate across campus to attend classes. But building and maintaining a strong relationship between the advising hub and departments will be a central goal of the advising team, particularly in the transition period.