Biomedical Sciences moves to new college

Douglas M. Kafury

The Board of Trustees approved a measure to move the School of Biomedical Sciences to the College of Arts and Sciences, which will allow the school to expand.

The School of Biomedical Sciences was housed within the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. The relocation will be effective at the beginning of Fall 2005, according to a Board of Trustees press release.

The school has 28 faculty members, who are all housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, so it made sense that the school was moved there, said Darrell Turnidge, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

James Blank, chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences and former director of the School of Biomedical Sciences, said during the past several years, the university has decided to invest more resources into the school, especially by adding faculty positions.

The change will allow for several faculty to be hired for the School of Biomedical Sciences, Turnidge said.

Students within the school should experience no real change. The only change will be filing dissertations at the College of Arts and Sciences, said Robert Dorman, interim director of the School of Biomedical Sciences.

“The rationale is that the school wants to expand and acquire core faculty,” Dorman said. “The important thing about this is it’s going to put the school in the College of Arts and Sciences in order to allow for that infrastructure to allow for a more academic unit.”

However, there is great potential for positive changes in the future, Blank said.

Blank initiated the move to the college and said there are opportunities to improve the school for students through the move.

“We do expect changes, but they’re really good changes,” Blank said. “We expect more collaboration across disciplinary units and growth in the activities that are related to biomedical areas. New coursework will be potentially available; new faculty with new expertise to work with in labs and learn from in the classrooms.”

Research collaboration between faculty and students, along with other scientific areas gives the school great potential for new findings, Blank said.

“Biomedical areas, for the next century, are really the growth area in sciences where major discoveries are going to occur,” Blank said. “The discipline of biomedical sciences in general, broadly speaking, is an area in which Kent is increasingly competitive. An area that in science, at least, is a growth area in terms of funding potential.”

The School of Biomedical Sciences also includes students and faculty from the University of Akron, Youngstown State University, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. This is the largest interinstitutional science program in the state. The affiliation between these institutions and Kent State will not change due to the move, Dorman said.

“Currently, all of the faculty at the school — there’s over 100 — actually have primary appointments at Kent State, but also a number of other universities and clinical institutions,” Dorman said. “Our students can go out and gain an education at a large and diverse program.”

The School of Biomedical Sciences was founded in 1987 to provide graduate training in multiple biomedical science disciplines. The school offers graduate degrees in five focused areas: biological anthropology, cellular and molecular biology, neuroscience, pharmacology and physiology, according to the biomedical sciences Web site.

Contact science reporter Douglas M. Kafury at [email protected].