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Academic leaders update Polytechnic campus plan


April 02, 2007

University Provost Elizabeth Capaldi and David Young, senior vice president of Academic Affairs, shared modifications to the existing five-year plan for ASU's Polytechnic campus with faculty and staff on March 27. Recommendations included name changes for two of the colleges and the official spinoff of the education unit as a standalone school.

“We want students to realize that we might all be ASU, but we offer distinct programs of study at the Polytechnic campus,” Capaldi says. “For the Polytechnic campus, a strong management, science and technology thread runs throughout the curriculum, where students learn in a hands-on, technology-based environment. We believe the modifications will help students better understand the organization, as well as help focus on further developing niche programs located at the campus.”

So what is being discussed?

The School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation officially will become a free-standing unit from East College and will continue to offer its existing programs.

It's proposed that East College will change its name to the School of Applied Arts and Sciences, with three divisions that focus on applied life and health sciences, applied physical sciences and mathematics, and applied social sciences and humanities. Several new programs are being proposed in the health sciences area, such as occupational health sciences and general health sciences.

“We wanted to create new programs that will link this campus to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, while retaining existing programs such as Nutrition and Exercise and Wellness and further developing their connection to downtown,” Young says. “I believe these modifications will distinguish the programs at the campus, while allowing for strong connections to other parts of ASU.”

It also is proposed that the College of Science and Technology be renamed the College of Technology and Innovation. Proposed divisions are still being reviewed and discussed, but they will focus only on technology and engineering programs, with the science and math programs moving to the School of Applied Arts and Sciences. In addition, the development of new engineering programs is proposed, including an engineering management degree.

“This program would combine the strength of the Morrison School 's curriculum in management and the engineering program at the Polytechnic campus,” Capaldi says. “This is a perfect example of how the new structure will also create more inter- and transdisciplinary opportunities.”

Faculty and staff members had an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback, and Capaldi emphasizes that some of what's being proposed is not set in stone.

“We wanted to start the discussion and are open to adjustments, but it's clear that the plans ultimately are about making Arizona more competitive,” Capaldi says.

The name changes for the colleges will be effective later this spring following requisite approvals. The School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation was approved by the board in December 2005.