Workgroup 9 discusses new college

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor-in-Chief


Workgroup No. 9 talked about recommending organizing a new college of Human Health Studies at their meeting Wednesday.

They also focused on reorganizing academic colleges and departments already at Eastern and brainstormed the different arrangements of academic programs.

The group members wrote down the academic departments on sticky notes, which they then placed on a chalkboard divided into five different sections.

The first four sections included departments that would be reorganized within their current colleges while the fifth section was for what could be placed under the college of Human Health Studies.

Programs the group recommends on placing under Human Health Studies included health promotion, kinesiology and sports studies, communication disorders and sciences and nursing.

Members suggested possibly splitting the courses within the family and consumer sciences department and moving them to other colleges.

Austin Cheney, the chair of the technology department, said they could move some dietetics courses, now offered as a concentration in the FCS department, into the College of Human Health Studies.

Another suggestion was moving the FCS appeal and textile design concentration into the business department.

Workgroup chair Melinda Mueller, a political science professor, said it is important that the group considers the cost associated with all of the academic departments before solidifying any suggestions.

Health studies professor Sheila Simons said she can remember people being upset at past college reorganizations, and this time around would be no exception.

“People will be emotional; it will be hard to avoid that,” Simons said. “It was a bit of a struggle last time. We are just a committee trying to give suggestions.”

Mueller said she was thinking about grouping political science, journalism, criminology and communication studies together because she has noticed that students tend to take courses from all of these academic areas together.

Mueller could also see criminology being coupled with sociology as well.

Implementing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

college was also suggested.

However, the members did not know whether psychology and sociology would be considered a part of the hard sciences or with human health studies.

Richard England, dean of the Honors College, said the purpose of any change is to improve the current circumstance, so the group’s suggestions should include the benefits and advantages of each change.

“I think we have to be honest in our recommendations and think, ‘does it make sense for the students who are interested?’” England said. “If we give them something to react to, then the responses will be more useful.”

The group decided to explain the reasons behind its decisions. Mueller said they will take into consideration faculty and student suggestions.

The Workgroup will meet again at noon Wednesday in room 2750 of Coleman Hall.


Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].