Four longtime University of Missouri professors were blindsided Monday when administrators told them their department is dissolving as of Thursday.
The Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute will be split off into an academic program guided by a yet-to-be-named director under the Graduate School and into a nuclear science research center under MU's Office of Research. The transition is expected to be complete by July 1.
The decision, made without input from the faculty, requires the four professors to find new academic homes in two years.
Graduate Dean George Justice said one reason for the change is because the Graduate School is not set up to oversee faculty issues such as tenure and promotion. The nuclear engineering program faculty moved under the Graduate School in 2002, in part because of rifts with the College of Engineering.
Even if the engineering school won't take them back, Justice expects all four professors to have no problem finding new departments to join. He also said he doesn't think the changes will affect students, but faculty members disagree.