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Departmental consolidations make way for collaboration

September 14, 2018

The start of the semester brings changes for several departments as professors prepare to move into new offices around campus.

Many professors in the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department (EOS) have moved from their previous offices in Druckenmiller Hall to new spaces in the Roux Center for the Environment. The Environmental Studies Program (ES) is also moving to the Roux Center, with professors vacating their old offices in Adams Hall.

Although delays in construction of the Roux Center have made the move more difficult than anticipated, housing the EOS and ES departments in the same building will offer unique opportunities for collaboration between the departments.

“At this point, we’re all just trying to function in a building that isn’t ready yet … but I think [collaboration] might be coming down the road,” said Cathryn Field, laboratory instructor in Earth and Oceanographic Science. “The idea was to promote collaboration, and I’m really looking forward to that.”

With the EOS and the ES departments taking up residence in the Roux Center, the first floor of Adams will undergo renovations before becoming home to much of the History Department.

The move to Adams will help bring the History Department—previously spread all across campus—together under one roof. This physical consolidation will provide new opportunities for collaboration within the department and increased proximity to the Africana Studies Department, which is located on the third floor of Adams.

“We have a relatively large department, so I think being all together would really facilitate collaboration and create a sense of community, comradery and solidarity,” said Assistant Professor of History Salar Mohandesi.

Meghan Roberts, associate professor of history, is coordinating the move, and she expects that much of the construction and renovation in Adams will occur over winter break. All work on the offices is planned to be completed in time for professors to start moving in over spring break and during the summer of 2019.

“We’re super excited to have the common area,” said Roberts. “It’s a really good opportunity for us to build our intellectual community with each other and also with our students, so I think it’s going to be great for us. I’m really excited.”

In addition to the EOS, ES and History Department relocations, the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Department (GSWS) left its old location at Boody-Johnson House—which will become a College House next year—for Ham House on Bath Road. This puts the GSWS Department near the Edward Pols House, home to the Philosophy and Latin American Studies Departments, and the Riley House, home to the Education and Italian Departments.

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