The Academic Unit Reviews Committee at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has released its project report for public comment. This committee was charged with reviewing the four independent UIUC schools and colleges with fewer than 40 faculty members. UIUC's Graduate School of Library & Information Science (GSLIS) is one of those independent schools and colleges.
According to the group's charge: "The primary focus of this project is to explore structural and organizational changes, including consolidations, to realize budgetary savings..."
The report is available at: http://oc.illinois.edu/budget/academic-units-project-report.pdf
The committee's report does not appear to recommend any "structural and organizational changes, including consolidations."
Here are some excerpts from the 24-page report
"In the end, we did not find empirical evidence that confirmed the intuition that there would be significant administrative efficiencies from consolidation or merger among these four units. To be more accurate and following our methodology, we did not find evidence that the rewards from consolidation among the four units or some subset of them would clearly exceed the risks."
"Our basic methodology in evaluating the questions that we were charged to address was to gather and evaluate information according to a risk-reward criterion. We must, however, acknowledge the limitations that we experienced in obtaining data on some of the central issues regarding consolidation and merger among some or all of these units or of some of these units with other existing colleges. Nonetheless, on the basis of the information that we have before us, we do not believe that the case has been made that the rewards of consolidation or merger of any of these units with all or some of the other units here exceed the risks. There simply is not any strong evidence that the potential savings are significant, yet the risks in terms of intellectual vigor and professional standing appear quite significant."
"Let us be clear: We are not saying that there is no conceivable realignment of these units that might not generate significant intellectual synergies, cost savings, and financial flexibility. But the evidence we have reviewed suggests that any cost savings would be far outweighed by academic and financial risks."