Sept. 26, 1996

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    Changes ahead for Education

    A review of the Department of Education has resulted in a recommendation that it be phased out over a five-year period and its function possibly replaced by an interdepartmental committee composed of scholars from several other departments.

    Richard Saller, Dean of the Social Sciences Division, made the recommendation after reviewing the results of a self-study of the department and the findings of a review committee. The review committee consisted of two University faculty members in departments other than Education and two outside experts suggested by the department chair. The faculty of the Social Sciences Division will vote on the recommendation in November, and the final decision will be made by the Provost and the President.

    In making his recommendation, Saller praised the department for the contribution it has made to education nationally. "The University of Chicago has been a great leader in the theory and practice of education," he said. He pointed out, however, that the review committee found that the department is currently experiencing numerous problems that are unlikely to be solved under the present structure.

    Many scholars in departments throughout the Social Sciences Division are conducting valuable research in education, and their work could be continued through an interdisciplinary committee or center, Saller said.

    "The restructuring to follow will allow us to continue to make significant contributions to research in education and to enhance the overall quality of that research in the Social Sciences Division," he said.