Friday, January 27, 2012

Memo from President Niels-Erik Andreasen: Organizational Changes

After extensive discussion and planning within academic administration, the following organizational changes in the University's academic programs have emerged. The Andrews University Board of Trustees has already approved most of these. Full implementation is anticipated during this year and the changes will be reflected in the 2012-2013 academic bulletin.

School of Health Professions in Progress
A new School of Health Professions will be established. The search for a dean of the School of Health Professions is underway. The following departments will transfer from the College of Arts & Sciences to this new school: Nursing, Physical Therapy, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, and Nutrition & Wellness. It is anticipated that for the time being the new dean‚s office will be located near one of these departments. This is a longstanding initiative that is now being implemented with a view to strengthening the health professions departments.

New Name, New Degrees: School of Architecture, Art & Design
The School of Architecture has been authorized by the board to expand its educational services by adding programs in interior design and construction management. Additionally, it will be the new home for the consolidated programs of digital imaging, photography, art and design, including the newly approved program in documentary film. In recent years the chair, faculty and students of these programs have been dispersed between the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Technology and School of Architecture. They will now be consolidated in one school with the expectation that this will bring more unity to these programs. Accordingly, the name of the school will change to School of Architecture, Art & Design.

Closing of the College of Technology
The College of Technology has changed in a number of ways over the years. For example, technology courses in auto mechanics, construction, wood and metal have closed. Other programs have changed into entities of their own, i.e., engineering tech into engineering; computer studies into computer engineering, now a part of engineering; and architecture into a school of its own. Two other programs have developed significantly in terms of new facilities and services, namely agriculture and aeronautics. In light of this, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Aeronautics will now relate directly to the Office of the Provost. The Office of the Provost will be supported in this regard by an Assistant to the Provost, a position that is replacing the position of dean of the College of Technology. Verlyn Benson, who has served as the dean of the College of Technology, will assume this position. These two departments operate business enterprises, namely the Andrews Farm & Dairy and the Andrews Airpark. A center will be established to expand these economic and business enterprises both locally in Southwest Michigan and internationally, where the Departments of Agriculture and Aeronautics are already active. These external initiatives will relate to the Office of the President through a position of Assistant to the President, held by the same individual. Such collaboration between educational institutions and their communities are common in our time and hold promise for the parties involved.

College of Arts & Sciences Becomes Smaller
Finally, the College of Arts & Sciences will become smaller. It will give up six departments: five to the School of Health Professions and one to the School of Architecture, Art & Design. However, it has added the Department of Engineering & Computer Science, which is closely aligned with the natural sciences and is expected to grow into a leading program. Moreover, the College of Arts & Sciences has become the new home for the master's in international development with 300-400 students, mostly off-campus. The College of Arts & Sciences will also continue to provide most of the courses in general education and honors.

No organizational changes are proposed for the remaining schools of the University. However, their internal organization may well need some adjustment to prepare for the full impact of the Griggs University programs, many of which will likely become Andrews programs in the foreseeable future.

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104