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The Daily Tar Heel

Provost Rejects CIT, CTL Merger

Instead of conducting the merger, which has met with criticism from faculty in recent months, the provost asked the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Center for Instructional Technology to conduct self-examinations and update their mission statements.

The CTL is an academic development and support center, and the CIT is a support center for integrating technology into learning. "The two units individually need to do more work on their mission statements and plans," Shelton said. "You just need to refresh them now and then."

Shelton said his decision was affected by the centers' need to examine their mission statements and by the uncertainty of the state budget situation.

The provost announced in June that he wanted to merge the two centers and later assigned a task force to advise him on the logistics of the merger.

Under the now-tabled plan, the merged center would report to Marian Moore, the vice chancellor of information technology. Some faculty members opposed the move, said William Smith, head of the task force.

The CTL now reports directly to Shelton while the CIT reports to Moore.

"We did communicate to (Shelton) the primary concerns that faculty represented to the task force," Smith said. "They felt the CTL was broad enough in scope that it ought to report to the provost."

Political science Professor Donna Lefebvre said the CTL's purpose demands that it remain under the provost. "What the CTL does is academic in nature, and academics should report to the provost," Lefebvre said. "It's inappropriate for the CTL to report to the office of information technology because that's just one aspect of teaching."

Iola Peed-Neal, the associate director of the CTL, also said the CTL should report to the provost.

"We have always maintained that the Center for Teaching and Learning should report to the chief academic official because that is the home for this teaching center," Peed-Neal said.

Moore said she agreed with the provost's decision but added that the faculty would have received excellent service under her authority. "I think the faculty of this University would have gotten absolutely fabulous pedagogical services had this merger occurred and had they reported to me," Moore said.

Shelton said the issue of where the merged center would report was not a deciding determinant in his decision. "That was one factor, but I don't think it was the key factor," he said.

Kathy Thomas, manager of the CIT, said while her group was not opposed to the merger, it is not required for the groups to collaborate.

"These groups do really good work, and the possibility of the work we could do together was exciting," she said. "But we can still work together."

Shelton said he had not entirely ruled out the idea of a merger. "For now we're not going to merge, but I want to leave that open in the future."

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