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Agenda Item FA 12-06

Submitted by the Executive Committee

Exceptional Student & Deaf Education Department Name Change Request

02/02/12: Passed

02/07/12: Approved

Exceptional Student & Deaf Education Department Name Changed Request



January 12, 2012


TO:   Patrick Plumlee, President
Faculty Association 
FROM: Larry G. Daniel, Dean
College of Education and Human Services
SUBJECT: Proposal for Departmental Name Change


The Department of Exceptional Student and Deaf Education has made a request that the name of their department be changed to "Department of Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education."


This name change was discussed by the departmental faculty over a several month period. After  
departmental faculty proposed three name options, Dr. Karen Patterson, Chair, conducted a vote on faculty preferences among the three possible names.  Eighty percent of the faculty favored the name, "Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education."  (Please note that all of the proposed names included "interpreter" or "interpreting" in them, so there was clear consensus among the faculty that this part of the department should be mentioned in the departmental name.)


Following receipt of the departmental recommendation, I placed the item on the agenda of our COEHS Leadership Team (which includes the college's chairs and directors).  All Leadership Team members were provided opportunity for input and were invited to seek feedback from their constituencies if desired. Leadership Team members unanimously approved the name  change.


Based on the strong vote of the faculty following appropriate deliberation, the recommendation of the chair, and the support of the COEHS Leadership Team, I recommend to the Faculty Association that this departmental name change proposal be approved.


Rationale supporting the name change follows:

  • The department's programs in American Sign Language/English Interpreting did not exist at the time the present departmental name was selected.  Although the interpreting programs are an outgrowth of the department's long established interest in the Deaf community; these programs are not designed, as is the Deaf Education program, to prepare teachers.  The addition of the "Interpreting" to the title provides visibility to the interpreter education programs as distinguished from the teacher preparation programs in Exceptional Student Education and Deaf Education.
  • The proposed name is consistent with the general structure of names of departments within the College, namely that the names reflect the specific programs within the academic department and that anything reflected in the title is unique to the mission of that department