Multi-Disciplinary Mosaic or a Cross-Disciplinary Clash: A College of Humanities and Social Sciences

By:
Lana Wachniak,
Dr. Hugh Hunt
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The organizational chart of an institution often reveals the juxtaposition of faculty and administrators with very different understandings about the social and cultural organization dynamics of a university. These constituents are often asked to provide input about new directions in the vision and strategic plan for their respective units, such as a College, or for their university. When discussions falter, anecdotal exchanges often attribute the difficulties to the nature of the discipline(s) from which individuals come. A factor not openly discussed in these deliberations is the degree to which a faculty member’s academic background and training affect planning and decision-making. This study hypothesizes that different understandings of the nature and purpose of higher education are developed and articulated not only through experience but also through the frame of reference of one’s discipline.

The presenters will discuss qualitative data about the shared and differing knowledge structures of faculty members in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences. This micro-social analysis will focus on the similarities and differences in the perspectives, definitions, vocabulary, and worldviews of these groups. They will also discuss the following concepts and definitions: culture, values, vision, norms, and evaluation; and show that though they are an essential part of university vocabulary, their definitions may vary from discipline to discipline.


Keywords: Knowledge Structures, Faculty Members, Higher Education
Stream: Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Lana Wachniak

Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

Lana Wachniak is Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology and has been in university administration for the past decade. While her research interests in her discipline revolve around the study of deviance (serial killers and their artwork), she also approaches her administrative position from her perspective as a sociologist who examines the interactions of the statuses and roles that she and her colleagues occupy.

Dr. Hugh Hunt

Assistant Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA

Hugh Hunt is Associate Professor of Philosophy and has been in the Dean's office for two years. His area of interest and research is continental philosophy. Over the past five years, his research has focused on the work of Edith Stein, a German philosopher declared a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1998, in particular her correspondence with the Polish philosopher Roman Ingarden.

Ref: H06P0483