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Humanities moves aim to bring staff together

Monday 17 December 2018 10:31am

The Division of Humanities will become consolidated into seven Schools from next year, with an accompanying series of shifts for specialty areas - mainly into the Richardson building (above) and the Arts building (below).

A host of moves in the Division of Humanities aim to bring people together, encourage collaboration, improve the use of space, cater for a new structure, share resources, eliminate duplication and reduce reliance on leased premises.

Benefits of the moves include:

  • Department of Philosophy moving out of leased premises into the University-owned Arts Building
  • Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work consolidating from five buildings into one, the Richardson Building
  • Administration and postgraduate students becoming a central hub on each floor of the Arts and Richardson buildings as often as possible.

Being together in purpose-built, accessible offices with natural light is already impressing Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work Head of Department Professor Chris Brickell.

“Corridor conversations are really productive for teaching, collaborations, discussions about curricula, how the students are going … you can hear what people’s concerns are and communicate what is happening much better. You don’t have to rely on email.

"Students had been going round and round because things were in quite different buildings, they hadn’t quite known where to come. Now we can say ‘reception is on level 6’.”

"We all join departments because we love that discipline but the University is a community of learning and many of us talk about the value of being inter-disciplinary – this is a way we can facilitate that for our staff and our students."

While rationalising office contents and moving was challenging, the “list of benefits of moving is really long. It’s hard to see where the down sides are”, Professor Brickell says.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Humanities, Professor Tony Ballantyne says consolidating the Humanities encourages interaction and collaboration across all the departments as well.

“We all join departments because we love that discipline but the University is a community of learning and many of us talk about the value of being inter-disciplinary – this is a way we can facilitate that for our staff and our students.”

The moves focus the Division around the Arts Building, Richardson Building, Marama Hall, Allen Hall and the east campus, where a new music recording studio is being built beside the College of Education in Union Street East.

The moves started earlier this month and finish in late January.

Next year, Humanities will focus on making its “new world” work as effectively as possible, while moving forward together, Professor Ballantyne says.

He is feeling positive about the future. Student numbers have increased in the Humanities for the first time in about eight years, so “I’ve got every reason to be optimistic about next year”.

The moves:

Specialty Building leaving Building moving to When
Children’s Issues Centre 3 Leithbank Richardson, 7th floor, north tower Late January 2019
Philosophy 117 Union Street Arts, 2nd floor Move completed
Philosophy postgraduate students Otago Business School, lower ground Arts, 2nd floor January 2019

Social Sciences Head of School (new position) plus administration

This is a new role Richardson, 2nd floor, north tower 19 December this year
Sociology, Gender and Social Work 262 Leith Walk
280 Leith Walk
99 Albany Street
Arts Building
Richardson, 5th and 6th floor Most have moved, the remainder will shift 19 and 20 December
Sociology, Gender and Social Work postgraduate students 280 Leith Walk
Arts Building
3 Leith Bank

Richardson, 6th floor This week
Media, Film and Communication Richardson, 6th floor Arts, 3rd floor Move completed
National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies 518 Castle Street 262 Leith Walk
97 Albany Street
Early next year
Postgraduate students From various locations In with their departments as much as possible, but on Richardson 10th and 11th floors, south tower Early next year
Religion 97 Albany Street Richardson. Academics: 4th floor, south tower.
Administration: ground floor, south tower.
Move completed
Social Anthropology Richardson, 2nd floor Richardson, 5th floor, north tower Move completed

Consolidating in their existing location:

Specialty Location
Archaeology Richardson, consolidating on 1st and 2nd floor
English and Linguistics Arts, 1st floor
Geography Richardson, 5th floor
History Arts, 2nd floor, south tower
Languages and Cultures Arts, 3rd floor, south tower
Politics Arts, 4th floor, north tower
Faculty of Law Richardson, 7th floor
Te Tumu Richardson, 4th floor, south tower
Theology Arts, 4th floor, south tower

No changes:

Specialty Location
Centre for Sustainability 563 Castle Street
Classics Arts, 5th floor
Faculty of Law Richardson, 8th, 9th, 10th floors
Faculty of Law Library Richardson, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th floors, south tower
Geography Postgraduate students Richardson, 5th floor, south tower
Humanities Divisional Office Arts, 5th floor
Arts Building Reception Arts, 1st floor
Anthropology and Archaeology - Laboratories Richardson, ground floor, 1st floor
Geography Richardson, 3rd, 4th, 5th floor
Te Tumu Richardson, south tower, Ground floor, 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor

From 1 February, the Division of Humanities, 16 departments will become seven Schools, with no changes to programmes for students or to academic staff numbers.

The new structure is very similar to the way Humanities is organised in most Australasian universities. The new structure is:

  • College of Education
  • Faculty of Law
  • School of Arts – Created from the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, Classics, English and Linguistics, History, Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Theology
  • School of Geography – Physical Geography, Human Geography, Environmental Management Programme, Master of Planning and the Centre for Sustainability
  • School of Performing Arts – Created from the Department of Music, Theatre and Performing Arts
  • School of Social Sciences – Anthropology, Archaeology, Gender Studies, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Studies, Religious Studies, Social Work, Sociology and Media, Film and Communication
  • Te Tumu: School of Maori, Pacific, and Indigenous Cultures