INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a merger between two schools at IUPUI. The new School of Health & Human Sciences will strengthen the role that the campus plays in supporting the health and well-being of Hoosiers across the state and beyond.
A task force was formed earlier this year to explore the feasibility of realigning IUPUI's School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. In a vote earlier this month, faculty and staff from both schools expressed overwhelming support for the merger and the opportunities it will create for members of the school.
"This restructuring enhances the current strengths of both schools while also creating new opportunities to cultivate excellence in research, student learning and student support services," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "By reducing competition and producing stronger, aligned undergraduate programs, we are providing a solid foundation for future careers in the health professions as well as emerging careers related to health and wellness."
McRobbie noted that priorities for new degrees suggest that tighter connections among programs such as kinesiology, health sciences, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and physical therapy offer great benefit to future students.
The new school fits into IU's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, which calls for continued work in pursuing new programs and, where necessary, realigning existing programs in order to leverage the university's strengths; assure relevance; and respond to student demand and to regional, state and national needs.
"The formation of the School of Health & Human Sciences will allow us to leverage the strong research collaborations that tie all of our schools to one another and strengthen our research and educational enterprise as a whole," IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar said. "This new school will also position us to partner with the city of Indianapolis in building the sports innovation and tourism ecosystems that are so important to the local economy."
The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI traces its origin to 1941 with the initial creation of allied health sciences degrees through the IU School of Medicine. In 1991, the IU Board of Trustees granted school status to the School of Allied Health Sciences, which then became the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in 2003.
With its long and distinguished record of offering nationally recognized programs and preparing students for practice in the field of health and rehabilitation, the school has impacted countless lives through community-engagement initiatives and research, including examining the effects of exercise on health conditions affecting millions of Americans.
The original programming at the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management in Indianapolis dates back to 1866, making it the oldest academic unit at IUPUI and the oldest existing school in the country for preparing physical education teachers. In 1994, the school expanded its wellness focus to include IUPUI's military science program and the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management. The school also manages Camp Brosius, IU's alumni family camp.
The school has played a key role in helping Indianapolis develop training programs required for volunteers at major sporting events hosted by the city, including the Super Bowl, and established the first university effort in the U.S. to focus exclusively on sports and innovation.