The Department of Foreign Language and the Department of Sociology and Family Studies will merge with other departments as the university realigns its budget for next year.
The new budget plan will be explained to all ACU faculty and staff on Nov. 17. The plan includes position losses for several faculty members as well as eliminating one and integrating two existing departments in order to maintain economic stability for the university.
The Department of Foreign Language will combine into the Department of English, and the Department Sociology and Family Studies will mix into the Department of Political Science, the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Education and Human Services.
Since the new plan will not be presented in detail until later this month, many unanswered questions are still looming for some faculty. Harland Rall, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, said he is not sure what next year will look like for his department.
“We don’t know. We will work with the English department,” Rall said, “but those decisions about how it will work have not been worked out yet.”
Rall said the curriculum will remain the same, and credits to and from other universities will still be able to transfer over. Those are the only plans he knows will happen, he said.
Cole Bennett, chair of the Department of English and associate professor of English, said he will not be sure of any details until President Schubert presents the plan
“They have literally told me nothing other than Foreign Language is going to merge with English. That’s it,” Bennett said.
Three other departments will absorb the Department of Sociology and Family Studies. Some students remain optimistic about the future of the department. Logan Cole, junior family studies major from Abilene, embraces the merge.
“I think it’s good. A lot of universities that have family studies are closely related to their Bible Departments,” Cole said. “I think that family studies needs more Bible in it to begin with for people like me. I want my Jesus in my family.”
Cole said he has seen his department grow over the past three years since he has been at ACU from about 50 students to over 100, leaving no worries for the future of his major. Cole expects the merge will create more solidity within the department.
“More people will change to family studies because it’s in the Bible department now,” Cole said. “I think being in the Bible department will help it become a more stable major and continually get stronger.”
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