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Western College Program to join Arts and Science

Miami’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies, commonly known as the Western College Program, will become a program in the College of Arts and Science in July 2008, university officials announced Jan. 22.

“We are taking steps to preserve the best qualities of the Western College Program while ensuring that it is dynamic and innovative,” said President David Hodge. “The combination of Western’s traditions plus the vibrancy of its new administrative home will create a program that should become a national leader.”

Miami’s board of trustees voted in June 2006 to drop divisional status for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies as of June 30, 2008, and, shortly thereafter, a University Senate committee was appointed to consider different options for Western’s future. The committee, among other points, recommended that Western be administratively located in Arts and Science and that its curriculum be “revitalized” with the cooperation of the Arts and Science faculty.

Both Hodge and Provost Jeff Herbst agreed with those recommendations.

“We hope that by placing the Western Program in the College — Miami’s largest undergraduate division — it will attract far more students than before and become much more integrated with the university’s entire program of undergraduate instruction,” said Herbst. “The new Western Program will retain the very best elements of undergraduate instruction, including a living-learning community based in Peabody Hall on the Western campus, and also benefit from a new curriculum that will make it relevant to undergraduates preparing for the 21st century.”

Herbst added he expects that the goals for the new program can be accomplished within the constraints on Miami’s budget.

“We expect the new Western Program to cost no more than the average program of instruction in the College of Arts and Science. Making the most efficient use of resources is critical given that the university is committed to keeping tuition as low as possible and in light of continual declines in state assistance,” said the provost.

Date Published: 01/25/2007
Volume: 26   Number: 13

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