George Mason University




TO:  Peter Stearns, Provost

FROM: Shirley Travis, Dean CNHS

RE:  College Expansion and Permission to Reorganize

DATE:  September 12, 2005

At the Faculty Organization meeting this afternoon, the faculty of the College of Nursing and Health Science endorsed the following changes for our existing College in order to address the expansion needs for health and human service programs at Mason, as identified by the Provost
’s Health Commission. We request permission to complete the following steps:

1 - Change the name of the existing College of Nursing and Health Science to the College of Health and Human Services;

2 - Reorganize the existing programs in Health Science into two new departments:  the Department of Health Administration and Policy and

 the Department of Global and Community Health;

3 - Reorganize the nursing programs into a School of Nursing within the new college; and

4 - Accept the Department of Social Work into the new College of Health and Human Services.

With the approval of these changes we are prepared to immediately begin the necessary internal planning and reorganization for implementation by Fall, 2006. Justification for each of the four steps can be found on the next page.


Justification For Change

– The existing name of the College of Nursing and Health Science does not offer an inclusive name for a multidisciplinary college in which multiple health and human services programs can grow and prosper. The recommended new name of the College of Health and Human Services was selected by a Naming Committee that was comprised of faculty representatives from Health Science, Nursing, and Social Work; and the Mason Offices of University Relations, Alumni Affairs, Development, and the Provost.

– The current Health Science curriculum has grown through the addition of multiple undergraduate and graduate tracks. The maturation of these programs has been hampered by this single label for an array of programs that can and should be stand-alone programs in such areas as Gerontology, Nutrition, Health Administration, International Health, Health Policy, and Assisted Living Administration. We propose separating the existing Health Science programs into two departments that will allow for growth, visibility, and curriculum rigor of these programs.

The choice of the two departments was, in part, dictated by the longer term goal of creating a School of Public Health in the new College. In particular, a Department of Health Administration and Policy is one of the cornerstones of programs in Public Health. We will place the existing programs in Health Systems Management/Health Administration, Assisted Living Administration, and Health Policy Analysis in this department in addition to a proposed new PhD in Health Services Research and Policy.  The second department, Global and Community Health, will house the remaining programs in Gerontology, Nutrition, International Health, and Care Coordination. In addition, the new master
s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics will be placed here. Finally, the department will be an incubator for emerging programs in Rehabilitation Science, as described in the findings of the Provost’s Health Commission.

– Mason currently offers baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees in Nursing. Programs that offer these different levels of professional attainment are closely monitored by both state licensing and national accrediting bodies that require autonomous or semi-autonomous control over the programs of study. While small programs that offer only undergraduate or limited graduate options often are housed in a departmental structure, large professional programs, such as Nursing at Mason, are not well served by a single departmental organizational structure.

– The Department of Social Work is currently part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Applied professional programs, such as Social Work and Nursing, have similar needs for practice/clinical experiences in their educational programs. The faculty members in these and other health and human service programs understand the licensure, certification, and accreditation requirements that are a part of the life and culture of each others programs. Therefore, faculty in the Social Work program feel that their educational program fits well with the other professional programs planned for a new College of Health and Human Services.