Last week, the Indiana University Board of Trustees approved the restructuring of IUPUI's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Physical Education and Tourism Management into the School of Health & Human Sciences.
The result will be a larger, more robust academic entity that will fill many needs for students while also giving faculty more opportunities to excel in teaching, research/scholarship and service. Staff can capitalize on synergies to collaborate and grow opportunities that will better serve students.
"We're putting together a community," said Rafael Bahamonde, interim dean of the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. "Our missions were already kind of similar in a way; now we complement each other very well."
The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a leader in graduate health and rehabilitation sciences, preparing students for practice in those fields while impacting countless lives through its community-engagement initiatives and research. Its many studies include examining the effects of exercise on health conditions affecting millions of Americans.
The School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, or PETM, is the oldest academic unit at IUPUI. It has an expansive focus on wellness, which includes exercise science, physical education, fitness management and personal training in addition to sports management and tourism, conventions and events management.
Also at their meeting last week, the board of trustees approved a PETM Ph.D. program in exercise science -- a program, just to name one, that can be enhanced in the new School of Health & Human Sciences.
"Once that's implemented, we believe we'll have opportunities with our Ph.D. in health sciences to look at combining some of the courses, like research methodology, so we can bring those students together while still providing the two different degree paths based on what best fits the student's interest," said Rebecca Porter, interim dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
"This is an opportunity to enhance activities that we're engaged in but have the potential to grow. Those include faculty research and community service activities, but more importantly looking at how we can provide students with the optimal educational experience."
Faculty and staff from the two schools came together earlier this year on a task force to explore the possibility of realignment, and when a report was shared at a joint meeting of both schools in August, there was wide support for the conversations to continue.
In early November, faculty and staff from each school voted on the proposal to become one school. It passed by a wide margin.
"We are extraordinarily fortunate that we have individuals who look at opportunities and are able to go through a process of logically assessing what are advantages and what would be drawbacks," Porter said. "We moved through that process systematically and were able to identify that there weren't any stopping points and that there were advantages that helped us collectively move further faster than we could do if we remained separate."
Frequently Asked Questions about the restructuring:
- When will the reorganization into the new School of Health & Human Sciences become official?
July 1, 2018
- Who will serve as dean of the new school?
The dean has yet to be determined.
- Will the location of facilities or offices change?
At this time, there are no proposed plans for relocation of faculty, staff, departments, classrooms, research labs, student space or programs.
- How does this affect currently enrolled students?
Courses, curriculum, degree requirements and degree names will remain the same.
- How does this affect prospective students?
Admissions requirements to the degree programs, both undergraduate and graduate, remain the same.
- Will scholarships be affected?
The criteria for scholarships awarded to students in specific departments will remain the same.
- Will the departments in the reorganized school change?
The current departments will remain within the new school.
- What will happen to Camp Brosius?
The alumni family camp will continue to operate as an IU auxiliary managed by the School of Health & Human Sciences. Nothing will change except the name of the managing school.