Lindenwood deans are excited for the opportunity to step back into the classrooms as new academic colleges become renamed and rebranded.
The office of the provost sent an email last week announcing that some schools at Lindenwood will be merging into larger academic colleges.
Mark Arant, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said in an email the names of the new colleges should be decided in the next two weeks.
“Then we will go through the rebranding process with all of the offices on campus,” Arant said.
Cynthia Schroeder, current dean of the School of Health Sciences, and Kathi Vosevich, the current dean of the School of Humanities, will be heading two of the new colleges.
Schroeder, who will be leading the new college of Sciences and Health Sciences, said in an email she is excited for the merge.
“There are many synergies that will allow for collaborations among students and faculty both in and out of the classroom across programs,” Schroeder said.
With an increased size of the new college, Schroeder said there will be more to navigate form a leadership position.
“I’m very fortunate to have expert faculty and staff that are truly here at LU to support our students to help move us forward with this merger,” Schroeder said.
Vosevich is also excited to lead the new college being formed from the school of Humanities, and Arts, Media, and Communications. She’s looking forward to even more collaboration among faculty and staff.
“Some of this collaboration is already happening, but the merger will facilitate further joint projects and cooperation,” Vosevich said in an email. “The great news is that both of the current schools are very student-centered, so I’m sure we’ll be able to offer new and enhanced student experiences together.”
The major change will be moving two academic schools into one academic college.
“This new college structure will align more closely with the university’s strategic plan, as well as take advantage of synergies to distinguish and differentiate Lindenwood,” Vosevich said.
Vosevich said they’re already in the process of determining the new name of the college. The faculty and staff of current schools are suggesting possible names for the new colleges.
“I am still collecting input and will continue to gather suggestions, but of course, the name will need to convey the identity of the new college meaningfully and be approved by various stakeholders,” Vosevich said.
The new college will potentially create new classes resulting from collaborations. Vosevich said it will be an opportunity to re-imagine majors and create new ones.
The estimated headcount for the Humanities and Arts, Media, and Communications college will be around 2000 graduate and undergraduate students.
“I think it is safe to say that the new college will be big,” Vosevich said.
As for the current deans of schools that will not be leading the merge, Arant said they will become full time faculty members in the new colleges.
“They are outstanding teachers and people so the students need to benefit from their presence in the classroom,” Arant said.
Arant said the current structure of all the colleges will be reviewed. In the next few weeks, they will determine who will have administrative roles or become full time faculty.
Richard Delgado, current dean of the School of Sciences, will be returning to the classrooms at the new college of sciences.
“I, personally, have been thinking of moving back to the classroom for a while, so I am happy to have the opportunity of returning to teaching full-time,” Delgado said in an email. “In addition to being able to teach the courses in the subject I love, it will also give me more time to work on some writing projects that I have had in the works with a major publishing company.
“If the new merged structure provides more opportunities for students in both current schools, to do more research and internships, I’ll be thrilled.”
Jason Lively, current dean of the School of Arts, Media, and Communications, said he is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the classroom. To him, it is the most rewarding position.
“I’ve always felt that I was called to teach and I’ve always planned to return to the classroom,” Lively said in an email. “To have an opportunity to play a small role in a student achieving that ‘ah ha’ moment, finding a passion and love of learning, or simply growing as an individual is something that I truly cherish.
“I’ll have to confess, I didn’t expect to have this opportunity arrive so soon, but I welcome it with open arms.”
Lively also said he has a great respect for the faculty and staff of the school, and after working with Vosevich over the past few years, he knows she will do a great job of bringing the two schools together in the merge.
The new colleges are expected to broaden the student experience by offering more interdisciplinary courses, especially in general education, as well as more interdisciplinary degrees. Arant said students shouldn’t see much much of a change initially.
“The breadth of experience for the student at the graduate and undergraduate levels realized from these realignments should provide a competitive advantage for those seeking graduate school, professional, school, or workplace destinations upon graduation,” Arant said. “Lindenwood’s academic reputation should advance through faculty-driven initiatives to provide an excellent liberal arts experience within the context of addressing the needs of our communities.”