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Dates of existence
The Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies (FIDS) was established by the Board of Governors 12 December 1972 to succeed the Division of General Studies. The primary function of the faculty was to encourage the development of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and provide a stable administrative environment within which these could mature. Upon the dissolution of FIDS 1 September 1985, the responsibility for promoting interdisciplinary studies was inherited by the Faculty of Arts, and the FIDS departments and programs were assumed by the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Applied Sciences.
Upon inception of the Faculty, the functions of the previous Dean of General Studies were transferred to the new Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies. As the executive officer of the Faculty and an administrative officer of the University, the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies was responsible to the Senate for ensuring that the functions of the Faculty were carried out. Specifically, the position was given six major duties: 1) to act as the central budget authority for all departments and programs in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies; 2) to administer all non-departmental programs of the Faculty; 3) to coordinate curriculum development through the faculty undergraduate and graduate curriculum committees and maintain scholastic uniformity; 4) to be responsible for faculty hiring, discipline, tenure and promotion in conjunction with appropriate departments; 5) to facilitate the research undertaken by Faculty members by ensuring facilities, equipment and support, and; 6) to engage in the ongoing assessment of Faculty performance through performance review, contract renewal, tenure and promotion evaluations. The Dean also acted as chair of Faculty meetings and represented the Faculty to external bodies such as Senate and the Board of Governors.
The Faculty consisted administratively of a number of departments and programs. Departmental chairs and program directors reported to the Dean, who in turn reported directly to the Vice-President, Academic. The Dean was solely responsible for overall academic and administrative matters until 1980, when the position of Associate Dean was established. The Associate Dean was made responsible for space allotment, the appointment of sesssional staff, the coordination of curriculum development in graduate and undergraduate programs, advice to the Dean on specific matters, and to take the role of Acting Dean when required.
The original Faculty departments were Fine and Performing Arts, Kinesiology, and Communication Studies, all of which were formerly units within the Faculty of Education. Fine and Performing Arts had been part of the Centre for Communications and the Arts; Kinesiology was an expansion of Physical Development Studies; and Communication Studies was created by the amalgamation of two former units: Behavioral Science Foundations and the Centre for Communications and the Arts. The original Faculty programs were African/Middle Eastern Studies, Canadian Studies, Computing Science, and Latin American Studies.
The Faculty expanded steadily in the number of its departments and programs offered. A program in Criminology was created in 1974, and became a department in the Faculty in 1975. Further program additions included Women's Studies (1976), Natural Resource Management (1979), Management and Systems Science (1980), and Gerontology (1982). When the Faculty was dissolved, it consisted of the Centre for the Arts; Centre for Canadian Studies; the Departments of Communication, Computing Science, Criminology, and Kinesiology; and the following programs: African/Middle Eastern Studies, Gerontology, Latin American Studies, Management and Systems Science, and Women's Studies. Upon dissolution, most of the units became part of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Arts. The exceptions were the Departments of Communication, Computing Science and Kinesiology, which became part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, and the Management and Systems Science Program, which became part of the Faculty of Science.