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Sept. 16, 2016
Faculty members cut ribbons to open their new schools
|School of Computer Science and Information Systems|
|Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business|
|School of Education|
|School of Communication and Mass Media|
|School of Agricultural Sciences|
Northwest Missouri State University on Thursday commemorated the opening of five professional schools with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, symbolizing the University’s continued momentum as an educational partner that is meeting students’ needs for career preparation.
The ceremony at the Memorial Bell Tower featured the directors and faculty of each school cutting a series of unique items that represented their fields as well as remarks by University and state leaders.
The ceremony, Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said, ushered in a new academic structure and focus on profession-based learning at Northwest that the University announced last spring. Professional schools, Mottet explains, represent academic units closely aligned with a profession, while academic departments contain broader disciplines.
Northwest’s new schools are the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business, School of Education, School of Communication and Mass Media, and School of Agricultural Sciences. They join the School of Health Science and Wellness, which Northwest opened a year ago.
“We are unveiling a new academic vision for the University that we believe will differentiate us from the other 13 four-year public institutions in the state of Missouri, and it’s a notion of profession-based learning,” Mottet said. “One of the last things this institution ever wants to be accused of is not being connected to what’s going on in the communities, in the homes, in the organizations that we serve.
“One of the things that I feel very committed to is to make sure that everyone who leaves this institution is career-ready on day one. For the graduates of this institution, we are preparing them to be a professional who will be making significant contributions to their families, to the communities in which they serve and to organizations in the industries that they work and shape and move them forward.”
Dr. Pat Harr, the chair of Northwest’s Board of Regents, noted the academic reorganization as another positive result of the University’s ongoing strategic planning and the objectives within the plan. Northwest’s Board of Regents, faculty and staff, and students are aligning their work with that plan, which places a renewed emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion in addition to ensuring graduates are “shovel-ready for the workforce,” Harr said.
Mike Thomson, who is a member of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education as well as a Northwest alumnus and former faculty and state legislator, also praised Northwest for aligning itself with state needs. Thomson cited “Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education,” a plan adopted last year by the Coordinating Board to help Missouri meet its higher education needs.
“This celebration today is one of many that indicates that Northwest is ahead of the game,” Thomson said. “We’ve been a leader for years. I’ve been watching the University for years, and when have we not led in attainment and affordability and quality and technology? … This is what the ‘Blueprint’ is all about. It’s about meeting the needs of the students and, of course, the needs of the state.”
Citing another narrative at Northwest, President Dr. John Jasinski said the University’s development of professional schools is a symbol of “significant momentum” the institution is experiencing. Northwest’s reimagined curriculum is part of an academic renaissance happening at the University, which continues to be a leader among its peers in success measures such as retention, graduation and career placement.
“Bearcats learn. Bearcats care. Bearcats connect. Bearcats practice civility. Bearcats show pride,” Jasinski said. “Those elements of being a Bearcat is what today is all about. … Momentum starts with being a Bearcat.”
As the representatives of each school took turns cutting their unique ribbons, faculty with the School of Communication and Information Systems began by cutting a power chord. Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth, the namesakes of the School of Business, joined faculty from that program to cut a ribbon featuring the logos of corporations where recent graduates of the school are employed. Children attending Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School and retired Dean of the former College of Education and Human Services Dr. Joyce Piveral joined education faculty to cut a ribbon of paper hands.
Faculty representing the School of Communication and Mass Media spliced a film ribbon, and the faculty of the School of Agricultural Sciences cut a piece of twine with ears of corn and paper cutouts in the shapes of cattle.
Plans for the reorganization developed after a successful pilot program in 2015 involving the three academic departments – agricultural sciences, business, and communication and mass media – within the former Booth College of Business and Professional Studies.
The pilot’s success also prompted academic leaders to rethink Northwest’s former Department of Health and Human Services, which had been based in the College of Education and Human Services. That initiative led to the development of a new, free-standing, multi-disciplinary School of Health Science and Wellness, officially making it Northwest’s first professional school.
Last spring, Northwest concluded the pilot program, dissolving the Booth College and College of Education and Human Services and transitioning academic departments within both colleges to professional schools. The computer science unit, which had been housed within the College of Arts and Sciences and operated with mathematics programming, also was restructured to form the sixth professional school.
Northwest retained its College of Arts and Sciences, which now houses the departments of English and Modern Languages, Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and Natural Sciences.
The Northwest community had the opportunity to visit and tour the academic halls housing each professional school after the ceremony.
For more information, including a complete listing of academic programs at Northwest, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/academics/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468