Academic Affairs to expand grad programs

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The Office of Academic Affairs is looking to start preparations for what Provost Stephen Stahl calls “University Model 2.0,” a plan that could possibly include expanding the graduate program at BW.
Currently, graduate studies at BW have shifted from part-time night students to full-time day students. This shift led to the need for a new position.
Leading the way is Karen Kaye, founding dean of graduate studies, who created this position because of the need for someone who would look after all of the graduate programs and create a graduate culture on campus.
“I have three charges in my job,” said Kaye, “and that is to grow and enhance graduate programs, advocate for graduate students and programs, and to create what is known as a graduate culture for the campus.”
Graduate culture are areas and services that specifically help graduate students and faculty.
While Kaye recently created this position, it is time limited and will only last until the end of next academic year, with a search for a replacement happening sometime in the future.
Having more full-time graduate students led to the need for a graduate culture on campus, which included the creation of a Graduate Student Association. It is a committee of representatives, similar to the Student Senate, where one graduate student from each program meets to help identify things, such as services, that should be there for them.
Stahl said the addition of graduate culture leads the school administration to consider what sort of university BW aspires to be.
To see if growing the graduate program is something BW should consider, the university used an outside consultant to gather information to help in the decision making. The main purpose of having the consultant, said Stahl, is to go to larger institutions that would be the university’s aspirants and see what they are doing that BW could possibly adopt.
Kaye hopes to see graduate programs added to all of the schools, especially in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music.
BW has the opportunity to grow and add to graduate programs that could potentially help to address the current enrollment issue. The issue being that having lower high school graduation rates means that BW has more competition of acquiring students.
The fear though, due to the nature of graduate programs, is that BW would go against its mission statement and lose its identity. The mission statement is mostly student-centered, something that many graduate programs do not offer.
“I think BW has a unique opportunity to create a graduate culture that is consistent with that message: doesn’t compete with it,” said Kaye.
Graduate program changes will not be considered until Stahl hears back from the consultant and addresses the results through meetings with faculty and forums sometime in the current semester. Stahl says he hopes to hear back sometime in February.
“We need to look,” he said, “at what our role should be for agencies, organizations, businesses and industries in Northeast Ohio in terms of helping the population.”
Stahl said that BW needs to stay current, evolve to new careers, and that growing the graduate programs could be the answer.