The Board of Trustees has agreed to merge the physical therapy and kinesiology programs into a Department of Kineosology and to eliminate the master’s and Ph.D. programs in music education.
The merger of the two departments is actually a success story resulting from the closure of the School of Allied Health and the transfer of the physical therapy program to the Neag School of Education, Provost Peter J. Nicholls told the board.
“We moved the programs because we thought there might be a commonality between physical therapy and kinesiology, and the collaboration between the two departments has turned out to be extremely successful,” he said. The two departments proposed the merger in order to enhance research opportunities, he said.
“We’re both relatively small departments but offer very strong components,” says Professor Carl Maresh, head of kinesiology.
“I think what we’ve come up with is a more holistic approach – from the lab to the bedside, he adds.
“By combining physical therapy’s clinical reputation and expertise with kinesiology’s research reputation and expertise, the new team can be more creative in research collaborations within our new department, across the University, and with other groups.”
The doctoral program in kinesiology is ranked number one in the country, tied with Penn State, a much larger program.
The music education programs were closed because of low participation, although the board did approve a new master of arts program with a concentration in music.
“The discontinuation of the doctoral program was considered in the context of available resources, enrollment levels, graduation rates, and placement statistics over an eight-year period,” said Nicholls.
The current master’s program does not meet the requirements for teacher certification, he added. Moving it to the Neag School will align it with other teacher preparation programs.
The trustees also approved closure of the Connecticut Center for Survey Research Analysis and the Center for Contemporary African Studies.
The CSRA has accumulated a $700,000 deficit and is unable to support itself, Nicholls said.
Nicholls also told the trustees that an ongoing five-year review of centers and institutes has resulted in plans to close the Center on Aging and Human Development; the Center for Healthcare and Insurance Studies; the Frederick G. Humphrey Center for Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy (which will continue its work as a clinic); and the Institute for Children, Youth, and Families at the Stamford campus.
The review also resulted in a three-year renewal for the Connecticut Center for Economic Education, and five year renewals for the Marine Sciences and Technology Center and the Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development.
Nicholls also announced that the urban studies programs at Storrs and the Tri-Campus have been merged.
“The action will reduce organizational redundancies, without sacrificing the substance of two popular interdisciplinary majors that draw between 30 and 40 undergraduates each year at Storrs and 60 or 70 undergraduates each year at the Tri-Campus,” Nicholls said.
In other business, University President Michael Hogan told the trustees that budget considerations have led to elimination of the positions of dean of students, vice provost for public engagement, and vice provost for multicultural and international affairs, and a freeze on the search for a vice president for research.