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  • New academic organizational structure at Purdue Fort Wayne set to go into effect July 1
For Immediate Release
February 05, 2021

New academic organizational structure at Purdue Fort Wayne set to go into effect July 1

Key Info

  • Purdue Fort Wayne announces new academic organizational structure
  • College of Arts and Sciences to be split into two colleges to provide greater clarity in the way the university prepares its students
  • New colleges of Liberal Arts and Science to officially begin operations July 1
  • School of Education to benefit from an elevated profile as a standalone unit
New academic organizational structure at Purdue Fort Wayne set to go into effect July 1 Image 1
Carol Lawton, professor of psychology and department chair Print-quality image
New academic organizational structure at Purdue Fort Wayne set to go into effect July 1 Image 2
Christine Erickson, associate professor of history Print-quality image
New academic organizational structure at Purdue Fort Wayne set to go into effect July 1 Image 3
Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, chancellor Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Upcoming changes to the academic organizational structure at Purdue University Fort Wayne will include the creation of two new colleges and an elevated profile for the School of Education as a standalone unit. These and other modifications were approved Friday by the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

Beginning July 1, the existing College of Arts and Sciences will be split into two new colleges focusing on liberal arts and science, respectively. The School of Education’s transition to a structure comparable to that of the Doermer School of Business will come as part of a dissolution of the College of Professional Studies.

Three departments currently in the College of Professional Studies will also be on the move this summer. Human Services will become part of the School of Education. Hospitality and Tourism Management will find its administrative home in the business school – although students in that major will continue to fulfill their requirements for a degree independently of the business curriculum. The Department of Criminal Justice and Public Administration will move to the College of Liberal Arts.

“These changes reflect the ongoing maturation of our university,” said Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs, Purdue Fort Wayne. “They represent the efforts of our faculty to best meet the educational needs of our students and the greater Fort Wayne region.”

Each impacted unit created a plan for the restructuring based on the proposed changes. The new colleges also established transition teams responsible for multiple tasks including the development of mission statements and governance documents.

Carol Lawton, a professor of psychology and department chair at Purdue Fort Wayne, serves as the transition team chair for the College of Science. “The reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences into two smaller colleges will allow us to offer expanded educational programming and opportunities finely tuned to the science and liberal arts interests of our students,” she said. “These changes will also enhance the university’s ability to plan for sustained growth more strategically.”

That enthusiasm was echoed by Christine Erickson, an associate professor of history who chairs the transition team for the College of Liberal Arts. “We are excited about increased opportunities for our students to connect with their peers across departments in their new colleges,” she added. “Those of us who have been part of the transition teams are already seeing clearer focus and a stronger sense of identity emerging from these planning processes.”

The creation of new synergies – within the academic structure of Purdue Fort Wayne and regionwide – was also identified as a rationale for the changes.

“This restructuring provides the university with greater clarity in the way we prepare our students, which we believe will aid in their success before and after they earn their Purdue degree,” said Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, chancellor, Purdue Fort Wayne. “Additionally, we expect these modifications to allow us to more easily engage with our corporate and community partners whose success can be greatly impacted by the quality and quantity of our graduates.”

Departments that will make up the College of Liberal Arts include: Anthropology and Sociology, Communication, English and Linguistics, History, International Language and Culture Studies, Political Science, and Criminal Justice and Public Administration.

The College of Science will consist of the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and Psychology.

The departments making up the School of Education will be Teacher Education, Counseling and Graduate Education, and Human Services.

And finally, the Doermer School of Business will include the departments of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Management and Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. The business school also offers an MBA program.

Deans for the colleges of Liberal Arts and Science are expected to be identified by the end of the spring 2021 semester.

Visit PFW.edu and click on the Academics tab to learn more about these and other colleges, schools, departments, and programs at Purdue Fort Wayne.

For additional information, contact Geoff Thomas, 260-437-7657 (mobile) or geoff.thomas@pfw.edu.

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