Philadelphia University Unveils New Organizational Structure to include Three Colleges and a Center for Signature Learning

Today Philadelphia University unveils a new organizational structure that will create three Colleges and a Center for Signature Learning. This structure will further advance the University’s mission to be the model for professional education in the 21st century and elevate its academic profile and reputation.

The three Colleges include:

  • the already announced College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, which include the current Schools of Design and Engineering and Business Administration;
  • the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, including what are now the Schools of Liberal Arts and Science and Health; and
  • the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, incorporating what is now the School of Architecture.

The new Center for Signature Learning will provide the educational foundation for all academic programs, supporting faculty teaching to achieve the highest level of academic experience for PhilaU students, focusing on active and collaborative learning that is connected to real-world issues and infused with the liberal arts.

“Tremendous progress has been made in implementing our Strategic Plan and building a national reputation for Philadelphia University,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. “Our evolution and growth have elevated the University’s academic experience for our students and advancing our vision to be the model for professional education. This new organizational structure will make Philadelphia University stronger, more flexible, more academically and administratively integrated and better positioned to fulfill the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan.”

“We carefully designed a more balanced structure that will create symmetries between academic units, improve administrative services for students and faculty, and create more opportunities for collaborative and integrative learning experiences for our students,” said Provost Randy Swearer, Ph.D.

Designing a Balanced Organization, Delivering Exceptional Education
The new organizational structure outlined below – which will take effect July 1, 2011 – is a clearer representation of the University’s level of expertise and will ensure a more appropriate balance across the University.

The College of Design, Engineering and Commerce (C-DEC), offers a transdisciplinary curriculum that retains the core learning of each discipline while forging new collaborations among the fields of design, engineering and business. By bringing these disciplines together, the new College pushes students to think beyond the boundaries of existing disciplines and focus on market-driven innovation through teamwork, collaboration and connections with industry partners.

The development of a unique curriculum in the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce already is having a dramatic impact on PhilaU students as evidenced by the high level of collaboration taking place among the programs and with industry partners.

The College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts (C-SHLA) brings together the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Science and Health to create constructive alignments of the liberal arts and science courses that comprise the College Studies curriculum. Connecting these programs will create stronger learning communities and relationships among the majors currently in these schools. The College will consist of two divisions – the Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Division of Health Professions.

Matt Dane Baker, D.H.Sc., current dean of the School of Science and Health, will serve as executive dean of the C-HSH. “Our combined physical and intellectual resources will foster new and innovative program exploration, as well as build even stronger existing programs in all our fields,” said Dean Baker. “The new College structure presents unique opportunities for our faculty and students, and all members of the University community.”

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment (C-ABE) will encompass the School of Architecture and the position of dean will be elevated to executive dean.  The new structure will provide opportunities for developing new programs and synergies with other areas of the University. Graduate programs will work to develop a leadership model to optimize the relationships among the programs and support common goals of curriculum development, recruitment and marketing. The Provost’s Office will work with college leadership to implement several administrative enhancements and to align the structure of C-ABE to parallel the other colleges during the summer.

Center for Signature Learning: Supporting Outstanding Teaching and the Delivery of the 21st-century Professional University Education
The first initiative in the Strategic Plan is to formalize the University’s signature approach to teaching and learning. The establishment of the Center for Signature Learning will enable the University to advance its approach in a more intentional manner. Marion Roydhouse, Ph.D., dean of the School of Liberal Arts, will be promoted to the position of Special Advisor to the Provost and Director of the new Center for Signature Learning. She has co-led the Signature Learning Action Team with Jane Antheil, Ph.D., for the past 18 months, and will now intensify and broaden those efforts to support faculty teaching that provides an academic experience for students that is active and collaborative, connected to real-world issues and infused with the liberal arts.

“Our signature approach to teaching and learning is already embedded in our instructional fabric and our University mission,” said Dean Roydhouse, who will remain dean of the School of Liberal Arts until July 1. “With the new Center, we have the opportunity to strengthen and broaden our successes in shaping our distinctive academic identity, centered on our strongest and most effective teaching methods, to educate students who will be leaders in their professions.”

Taking Philadelphia University to New Heights
Over the last four years, many advances have been made to enhance Philadelphia University academic programs and reputation. A large number of accomplishments have been achieved in a short amount of time that will accelerate the University’s transformation, including:

  • The formation of the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce and hiring of Ronald Kander, Ph.D., as executive dean, and Sue Lehrman, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business Administration
  • The selection of the architect for the design of a new DEC building
  • The establishment of the Edward G. Marram Biomedical Textile Structures Lab
  • The introduction of a ground-breaking curriculum that enables students to be leaders at every level of their careers
  • The addition of a new outstanding residential complex at the Residences at Falls Center

This new stage in PhilaU’s development will accelerate its transformation to an innovative and nationally recognized University.  As we work to fully implement these plans, there will be multiple opportunities and forums for members of the campus community to discuss these exciting changes:

Monday, March 21
4 to 5 p.m., open forum with University faculty and staff
The Tuttleman Center Auditorium

Tuesday, March 22
11 to 11:45 a.m., meeting with School of Liberal Arts faculty and staff
The Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space

Tuesday, March 22
Noon to 12:45 p.m., meeting with School of Science and Health faculty and staff
The Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space

Tuesday, March 22
4 to 5 p.m., open forum with University faculty and staff
The Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space

Wednesday, March 23
8 to 9 a.m., open forum with breakfast with University faculty and staff
Downs Hall Auditorium

Thursday, March 24
Noon to 12:45 p.m. meeting with School of Architecture faculty and staff
A&D Conference Room

Friday, March 25
10 to 11 a.m. open meeting with students
Downs Hall Auditorium

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