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Merger FAQs

What will this new college be called?

In January 2024, the University announced the name of the new college will be the College of Creative Arts and Media. University and College leadership sought suggestions and feedback from a variety of stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.

When will this change happen?

The new college will officially launch July 1, 2024. New leadership will also be in place July 1.

Additional decisions about the college’s organizational structure, including the senior leadership team, will be made in the coming months. Throughout the spring semester, working groups will also continue to review data and best practices and provide recommendations to current leadership on the functional support structure of the new college.

Who will lead this new college?

Current Creative Arts Dean Keith Jackson will lead the new College of Creative Arts and Media, effective July 1, 2024. Jackson will serve as dean of the new college for two years, after which there will be a national search for a new dean.

Current Reed College of Media Dean Diana Martinelli will serve as the new college’s vice dean and director of the new Reed School of Media and Communications for one year, effective July 1, 2024. A new school director will be selected to serve following Martinelli's return to full-time faculty status in fall 2025.

Will I lose my job?

The primary goal of this merger is to create a new entity that is forward-thinking, nimble and agile, and able to thrive in a changing higher education landscape. As a result of the merger, some support functions may be combined, resulting in a change in the personnel needs of the new college.  Duplicative or redundant support positions may be considered for elimination and/or transition into other roles critical to its success. Position reductions will follow a Reduction in Force Process, with employees being notified as soon as possible prior to the anticipated July 1, 2024.

Who made the decision and how?

This merger is part of the academic transformation process. Although a restructuring such as this does not require Board of Governors’ vote or approval, they have been involved in and aware of leadership’s decision-making process and progress.

Was input from both colleges factored into the decision regarding the merger?

Senior leadership is always engaging with our academic deans and leaders to listen and gather feedback to make the best decisions possible for the University. The deans of the Reed College of Media, College of Creative Arts and Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design were aware that this merger was being considered and shared this information with their faculty and staff.

Once announced, faculty, staff and other key stakeholders have had opportunities to engage in the merger planning process.

Is there anything that could potentially reverse or stop this plan from moving forward?

No. The decision to merge the colleges has been made; however, working groups that include faculty, staff and other key stakeholders from all merging units have been formed to provide input on such areas as academic programming, promotion and tenure guidelines and practices, and administrative and student support services.

Is this being done to save money? How much does the University anticipate this merger will save?

While this merger is not solely focused on saving money, we do believe that it will result in administrative efficiencies and cost savings. Savings alone are never a determining factor for academic restructuring. There must be a shared focus and an alignment of interests, which this merger will both represent and inspire.

Will my major/program go away? Will I be able to graduate in the same program I’m in now?

The merger itself will not result in the elimination of academic programs. Instead, we believe it will lead to the creation of new academic programs that are highly relevant to today’s market and will attract new students to the University. Students currently enrolled in either college will not see their degree programs affected by the merger.

Will my office/classroom location(s) change as a result of the merger?

All units are likely to remain in their current locations. The Media Innovation Center on the Evansdale Campus will serve as a physical “bridge” for shared programming.

What about my status as an alum of Reed College or CCA? What about my diploma?

Graduates of the Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will always be alumni of West Virginia University. That will never change. Those degrees will always hold the same value as the day they were awarded. Higher education is an ever-changing landscape, and we must remain relevant to our current and future students to ensure their continued success. We appreciate the connection alumni have to their individual colleges, but we also hope that our alumni will support future generations of graduates by acknowledging the need for change and the significant opportunities this merger presents.

Prior to July 1, 2024, academic records will identify Reed College of Media, College of Creative Arts, or Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design as the college from which a student graduates. After this date, once the new name has officially launched, diplomas and transcripts will reflect the College of Creative Arts and Media.

Alumni may choose to update their resumes with an addendum indicating the new name of the college.