WMU News

Trustees approve name changes for two departments

Jan. 27, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Acting at their Jan. 24 regular meeting, Western Michigan University trustees approved a name change for one department and the reconfiguration of two others.

Members of the board of trustees signed off on plans to change the name of the Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering to the Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging. According to Interim Provost Elise B. Jorgens, the name change, which is effective July 1, was designed to better reflect the full spectrum of the department's programs and curricula, including chemical engineering, the department's newest curriculum. It was also noted that the word "imaging" better reflects the high-tech aspect of the industry and WMU's program. The name change is expected to help increase enrollment in the department.

Trustees also approved a reconfiguration of two language departments. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages will be combined to form the Department of Foreign Languages, while a new Department of Spanish will be created.

The current Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures includes courses in Spanish, French, German, Classics, Italian and Russian. Of the 27 faculty members, 15 teach and conduct research in the Spanish section of the department, which is in high demand by both graduate and undergraduate students. Spanish is the only section that offers graduate courses. The current Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages has four faculty members and includes courses in Chinese, Arabic and Japanese.

Given the relatively small size of the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and the large scope of the Spanish section, Jorgens said the reorganization will result in two departments of equal and more manageable size, better able to assist all of the language sections in their teaching, research and service missions. The changes will become effective July 1.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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