Vol. 52, No. 32Seventeenth Week • Spring Semester • May 16, 2005

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TLTDC, CNS begin merger plans
The planned merger of two campus units — UW-Eau Claire's Teaching and Learning Technology Development Center and Computing and Networking Services — should result in a "total win" situation for the units' staff members and for the university faculty, staff and students those units serve, CNS and TLTDC representatives say.

The merger is anticipated to be official before the start of the fall semester, said Craig Mey, director of CNS and interim TLTDC director. Mey will be the director of the unit that results from the merger.

"I see this as a total win situation — no one loses," said Linda Carpenter, coordinator of the TLTDC's Network for Excellence in Teaching. "This merger will put us in a better position to provide information and knowledge to the campus in a less confounded way."

Carpenter said the idea for the merger originated with TLTDC staff, who had been conducting strategic planning sessions for their unit since the summer of 2004. Their director during that process left the university in March, and Mey recently was appointed as the fourth TLTDC interim director.

As they worked with Mey and considered the mission and objectives they'd developed previously in their strategic planning sessions, TLTDC staff members concluded that the roles of their unit and CNS are highly complementary and that efficiencies and other benefits would result from a merger, Carpenter said.

"The unit formed through this merger will have as its focus what the existing units already share as their focus: the teaching and learning mission of the university," she said.

CNS employees, when presented with the idea, agreed it would be a positive change.

"Staff is driving this merger, looking for ways to do their jobs better," Carpenter said, adding that the support of the university's Academic Affairs office is behind the idea.

Andrew Phillips, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the merger "should result in more efficient and effective service from two units that provide important contributions to the quality of teaching and learning on our campus. I'm also very impressed with the amount of enthusiasm and energy put into this plan by the members of both units."

The structure and a name for the merged unit are still to be decided. The Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook procedures for the merger of units (found in Chapter 5, page 33 of the Handbook) have been initiated with a meeting of all staff from both the TLTDC and CNS. The many students employed in both areas (45 to 50 in CNS and 18 in the TLTDC) have been and will continue to be included in all discussions of the merger, Mey said.

From the perspective of university faculty and staff, the merger's impact should be a positive one, Mey said.

"The changeover should be transparent to the campus community, and the experience of our 'customers' should improve in terms of getting the services they need in an efficient manner," he said.

Mey and Carpenter cited several benefits of the merger, including more flexibility due to the pooling of TLTDC and CNS human, physical and financial resources; the gain of a permanent director for current TLTDC staff; and a reduction in confusion among faculty and staff regarding whom to contact for particular services, since they'll be able to call one central source and be directed to the individuals who can best help them.

The merger of the TLTDC, with its professional development/teaching and learning tradition, and CNS, with its instructional technology tradition, is "cutting edge" among higher education institutions across the country, Carpenter said.

"It's bringing people together who've been working on similar issues from different angles," she said.

Carpenter noted that the merger will help staff in both units better fulfill the university's number one priority.

"We're trying to enhance student learning — goal one of the university's strategic plan," Carpenter said. "This aligns us better with the university's mission."

Faculty and staff seeking more information about the merger or wishing to give input can contact the following staff members in the TLTDC or CNS: Carpenter (carpenlj@uwec.edu), Rick Mickelson (mickelra@uwec.edu), Donna Raleigh (draleigh@uwec.edu), John Lee (leejd@uwec.edu), Carol Accola (accolacm@uwec.edu), Chip Eckardt (eckardpp@uwec.edu) or Rick Richmond (rrichmon@uwec.edu). Go to top of page

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Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Monday for publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.

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Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, (715) 836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Editorial Assistant. Updated: May 13, 2005

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