Departments working to strengthen programs

Rachel Abbey

Proposal to merge existing programs, forming a new college

Rachel Abbey

Daily Kent Stater

The Educational Policies Council gave its endorsement yesterday to expand the College and Graduate School of Education.

The proposal would bring the schools of Exercise, Leisure and Sport; Family and Consumer Studies; and Speech Pathology and Audiology from the College of Fine and Professional Arts into the College and Graduate School of Education to form a new college, called the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services.

“We’re trying to offer a better alliance of programs that already work together in some way,” said Tim Chandler, associate dean for the College of Fine and Professional Arts.

One concern raised in the meeting by professor Geoff Broadhead, who supports the proposal, is that this move would expand the education department, which seems to go against the trend for smaller, more tightly focused units at the university.

The driving motive, Chandler said, is academic and programmatic, not organizational. He said re-aligning the colleges would be easier on students and faculty within these related programs. The close relationships of these programs would only be strengthened, Chandler said.

For example, Chandler said many faculty members from Family and Consumer Studies teach courses for early and middle childhood education classes. Other health-related studies also work closely with the special education department.

A re-alignment committee made up of faculty in the two colleges created the proposal. Rhonda Richardson, associate professor and member of the committee, said faculty in all six affected units had the opportunity to offer input. The College Advisory Committees of both the College of Fine and Professional Arts and the College and Graduate School of Education also approved the proposal.

The proposal, approved by the Educational Policies Council, must pass through Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees before any change, Chandler said. If passed, the re-alignment will likely take place in July 2005.