Departments are to part from division

Peijia Zhang, Copy Editor

An advance of the Business Department and the Economics Department is under way with creation of a seventh division to include the two departments.

Social Sciences Division Chair Raymond Wrabley said the Business and Economics departments will be housed in a new Division of Business and Enterprise independent of the Social Sciences Division, where the two departments are currently located.

He said this will not affect the other departments in social sciences.

“The remaining academic departments in social sciences will continue to be strong and effective.”

According to business accounting professor Greg Petyak, the new division will consist of all majors in business and economics.

The largest department on campus, the Business Department, has about 500 students.

Wrabley said he expected the number to grow even more.

“At almost all the universities in the region, business is organized as its own school or college,” he said.

He said the creation of the new division will give business and economics the same visibility and status as the other professional divisions on campus.

He said examples of existing professional divisions are engineering, nursing and education.

While attracting more students, there should not be any major costs associated with the creation of the new division, said Wrabley.

“We already have the academic programs, and building renovations in Biddle Hall (where the new division will be located) have already been completed.”

However, faculty members should expect to tackle new challenges because of this advance.

Wrabley said existing faculty members will have the task of revising their programs to meet new needs.

Also, he said there will be new faculty members entering the division.

“We have several faculty vacancies due to retirements and the new devision should be helpful as we recruit new, high-quality faculty.”

According to Business professor Cristina Dediana, one of the retiring faculty members is economics professor Thomas McGahagen.

According to her, the exact location of a new division office is still pending.

However, Wrabley said the Business and Economics faculty offices will remain in place on Biddle’s first floor.

“The space in Biddle Hall can accommodate a new division office,” he said.

“As far as the timing, the proposal for the new division has received support of the Social Sciences Division and the Faculty Senate,” said Wrabley.

“It must now receive support of the Vice President for Academic Affairs Janet Grady, Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar, and Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.”

Business student Ashley Wrabley said the new division could attract more students.

“I think it’s a great idea. Hopefully this will attract more business students to our school.”

Freshman Yan Xinyu said she wanted to know how this advance will influence existing business or economics students.