Schools of Informatics and Engineering & Design to merge
The Schools of Informatics and Engineering & Design are to merge on 1 August to form a new School of Engineering and Informatics.
Their proposal to merge was approved by Council (the University's governing body) at its meeting on Friday (8 July), after Senate (the University's academic body) had given its support in March.
The Head of the new School of Engineering and Informatics is Professor Bernard Weiss, currently both Head of Engineering & Design and Acting Head of Informatics.
Professor Weiss said: "Because the two schools have worked closely together over the last couple of years, we have had the opportunity to identify and develop our common academic strengths and synergies.
"After much debate and discussion since autumn 2010, staff in the two schools have concluded that coming together as one entity will offer a better student experience, provide economies of scale and allow our subjects to grow."
The School will comprise two departments, Informatics and Engineering & Design. Professor Weiss explained: "It will be important to retain the clear identity of the two separate departments, particularly for student recruitment and professional accreditation."
Over the medium term, the School's priorities will be to grow its income from research grants and to prepare a strong return to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in two Units of Assessment (Computer Science and General Engineering).
Professor Weiss said that the merger will enable staff in the professional services to focus on important and wide-ranging roles such as marketing, student recruitment and external relations.
He added, "Having a larger single resource means that we will be able to make more efficient use of our administrative support" - but emphasised that no job cuts are planned as part of the merger.
The new school office will be in Chichester 1, the current location of the Informatics school office.