Faculty Senate set for discussion of proposed social and behavioral research department

Kyle Roerink

College of Arts and Sciences previously turned down motion

In an effort to train individuals to work in academic fields dealing with violence and other related issues, Kent State is in the final stages of adding the department of applied social and behavioral research.

“There are still a couple of steps in the process before this is official,” said Timothy Moerland, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I believe it will be on the docket at the next Faculty Senate meeting.”

The first time committees within the College of Arts and Sciences voted on adding the department, the motion did not pass.

“As I recall, one committee suggested that it not be created, and one said it did,” said Tom Janson, chair of Faculty Senate. “So we have to find out what the reasons were.”

The senate will consider the department for the first time at its next meeting, Oct. 13.

Moerland said there are two growing areas that have attracted Kent State to consider adding the department. The first is the increasing level of violence and substance abuse in everyday life. The second is the increasing level of professional sophistication and accountability needed in the field, Moerland said.

This department may play a role in the School of Public Health, which is also being considered as a new entity on campus.

Applied social and behavioral research is an emerging field that Kent State has an area of expertise in, said Moerland. All areas of learning go through periods of development and revolution. The level of research, scholarship and communication in the social and behavioral research has indicated that this program’s time has come, he said.

“The curriculum, at least at the beginning, will be graduate-level only,” Moerland said. “So at this point, there is not an undergraduate component to it.”

The program will include 10-12 courses, with many that already exist on campus. The university is not hiring any new faculty currently. Instead, it will reshuffle those who are affiliated with the criteria in the new department, Moerland said.

Because most of the department is being assembled from things that already exist on campus, he said, the cost will be minimal.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Kyle Roerink at [email protected].