A proposal to create a College of Graduate Studies has been presented to the Board of Trustees said Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost of the university. The current graduate school facilitates graduate programming across current colleges and departments, but doesn’t oversee faculty or new development.
“It’s a little premature and a proposal versus a definitive plan,” Rhodes said. “We’re thinking about, as we grow, new graduate programs we need a structure to support them and oversee them.”
Rhodes said he is proposing that the university move to a model of a graduate college instead of the current graduate school. What he is not proposing is that all current graduate programs or graduate faculty move underneath the new college.
“We would keep those largely in place and a there might be a few programs that would be interested in moving underneath the college structure,” he said. “New graduate programs don’t have to exist just within the current departmental college structure, which can be a burden on programs and can limit interest in growing programs.”
Dr. Stephen Johnson recently transitioned from a half-time dean to the full time dean of the Graduate School. Rhodes said this was part of the strategic planning and call for more graduate support.
Rhodes said his goal is to have a decision about next steps in place for the November board meeting.
“We’ve proposed it to the board and it’s something that we’re going to be coming back to them for more conversation,” he said.
Rhodes said new undergraduate programs, such as nursing and engineering, have been well-received but the graduate programming needs to be tended to.
“We’ve often had an approach where graduate programming came as a sidepiece,” he said. “We have great graduate programs, but for good reasons, we have really focused on undergraduate program development and there is a way to do both well.”