University To Split Into Separate Colleges July 1


BW University Relations

Alfred Brian Bonds Administration Building.

Elaina Zachos, Contributing Writer

Baldwin Wallace University will be switching from academic departments to academic colleges.  Although this will change how the university is officially conducted, it will not have a significant effect on students.

Currently, the university is divided up into seven academic departments. These include the Humanities Department; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing; Health, Physical Education, and Sport Sciences; Business; Education; Health Sciences; and the Conservatory of Music.

With the official switch, each of these departments will be officially renamed as “schools” to fit BW’s university status and provost-structure.  Although the details are still ambiguous, the first four listed are likely to be included under the category of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Additionally, the health care field, currently contained under the Health, Physical Education, and Sports Sciences department, will have its own school.  It will be divided into programs for nursing, physician’s assistants, and public health.

“We’re modifying our structure . . . in part to reflect our status as a university,” Associate Provost Dr. Guy Farish said.

President Robert Helmer sees this change as an opportunity to bring students and faculty closer together because “any time you can claim a place with others, it’s a good thing.”

College division within a university increases the status and prestige of that institution. “It gives more important structure to those areas,” Farish said.

Farish believes that BW will continue to “maintain our identity and he importance of the liberal arts.”

This change will aid the university in its international appeal.  Universities are viewed as legitimate schools in other countries, while colleges are often seen as trade schools or high schools.

“Being more competitive with international students will allow for students to experience a synergy of cultures,” added Dr. Trina Dobberstein, the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Dean of Students,  “It just seems to allow us to have a fair shot at international recruitment.”

Although this change may influence incoming and prospective students during their college searches, it will have little to no effect on current students.  There will be no specialized admission, except for what continues in the education and conservatory divisions.

The university will become more localized within its colleges, as opposed to all official business being centrally located in the administration building.  The university will not grow much larger and core requirements will not change.

“I think our organization and efficiency will improve,” Farish said.

Through all of these changes, BW will continue to maintain their high academic standards, attention to students, and individual programs.

“We have incredibly strong academic departments and this reorganization will highlight that to the world,” Helmer said.

This program will be instituted for the next fiscal year, starting July 1st.  Students should expect a “soft launch,” which will be slowly introduced.  This change will take much of the most academic year before it is officially instituted.