By Kristen Linsalata & Harry Pearse
Assistant News Editor, Staff Writer
LIU Post has announced that it will introduce two new schools to campus for the 2015- 2016 academic year: The School of Computer Science, Innovation and Management Engineering, and the Honors College. Jeffrey Kane, Vice President of Academic Affairs, believes this reorganization will increase enrollment, and be beneficial to the overall academic environment on campus.
The School of Computer Science, Innovation and Management Engineering will be an independent academic unit that will join the School of Business and the School of Professional Accountancy within the College of Management. Prior to the reorganization, the College of Management consisted of the following departments and schools: the School of Professional Accountancy; the Department of Social Work; the Department of Public Administration; the Department of Criminal Justice; the Department of Management; the Department of Finance; and the Department of Marketing.
However, the administration began to notice that certain academic units, such as the Department of Social Work, the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of Administration, didn’t seem to fit within the College of Management, according to Kane. “These very disparate group of units couldn’t be called the School of Business because you can’t include Social Work as a part of the School of Business. You can’t call Criminal Justice a part of the School of Business. As a result, they created an umbrella term called the College of Management. However, the problem with that is that it created a lot of confusion on the outside,” Kane said. One of the reasons for the creation of the School of Computer Science, Innovation and Management was to expand on areas of growth and development such as computer science, according to Kane. “One of the main objectives [of the reorganization] is for students to realize that we do have Computer Science at this university. If you look at the Department of Labor statistics and look at the area of growth in the job market where our students can get really good and professional careers started and developed, there’s a heavy emphasis on computers. There is a tremendous growth area in the job market for this new school will initially be small, but he stated that his goal for the school is for it to grow, and ensure that students have careers ahead of them that “will serve them well and make them happy and productive people.”
“I’m fine with the idea as long as it doesn’t interfere with my graduation date,” said Kristy O’Connell, a junior Marketing major. However, according to Kane, the new school will have no impact on individual students because it will not change the already pre-existing courses or the majors offered on campus. “If you’re in accountancy, then you’re still in accountancy. If you’re in business, then you’re still in business. If you’re in social work then you’re still in social work. None of this has an effect on the program that you are enrolled in,” Kane added.
Project Management, a new program that will be offered in the fall in the new school, is a graduate level program now at the approval stage. A degree in Project Management will give students the skills to oversee all aspects of a project, including planning, budget, project control, strategic issues, value management, human resource issues, and legal issues.
The establishment of the Honors College will give LIU more prominence, attract more students, and promote the academic environment on campus that is devoted to students and their academic needs. “I believe that we have one of the finest honors programs in the country,” Kane explained. “When it’s called a program, it seems to have a lesser status than, let’s say, the honors colleges at other universities. It gives the appearance, although a misguided appearance, that the program here is of lesser significance. We want to promote that program and raise recognition of the role that it plays at the university.”
“I feel very positive about this because [it] is a direction that many universities across the country are taking,” said Joan Digby, a Professor of English and the Director of the Honors Department. “It makes us more competitive to be a college rather than a program. I think that it will even encourage students that are already going to Post to apply to be in the honors program, knowing that their diploma will read that they graduated from an Honors College.” Digby continued, “My primary goal is to expand the number of students in the Honors College because that will permit us to offer more courses and advanced electives every single semester. I’d like to try to get an additional 100 or 150 people by next fall so that there [can be] more course offerings.”
Starting in the fall, when Honor students graduate from Post, their diploma will state that they graduated from an Honors College, according to Digby. Honors program students will automatically be moved into the Honors College next fall. The Honors College will keep the same reporting schedule, and will not be structurally different; however, students will have more opportunities being a part of an Honors College rather than an honors program. Digby predicts that as the Honors College at Post develops in connection with LIU Brooklyn’s new Honors College that Post and Brooklyn will have more programming together.
“It might mean that our Pre-Pharmacy students might want to take some courses at the Honors [College] at the Brooklyn campus, or other students from Brooklyn might want to come do a semester to concentrate on Theatre or Music at Post, where we are very strong,” Digby said. “The benefit of all of this, that as a director of a college, I’ll be able to work more directly with the deans of the other colleges so that I will have more input in terms of getting faculty to teach an honors course, and getting faculty to advise research for honors students.”
“If we can be more successful in letting people know what we have, then hopefully we can attract students from different regions, [and] not just the local area,” Kane said. “A dream of ours at the moment would be to open up an honors dorm.”
This fall, the Honors office was moved from Humanities building to room 202 in the Winnick Mansion. Kane believes the change of location of Honors from Humanities to the Winnick Mansion displays great symbolism for what it represents to the university. “Just look at the new location. It’s on the top of the hill in [the] beautiful Winnick Mansion. It promotes the message of, ‘Hey we’re proud of this thing.’ It’s not one program among many. It’s the gleaming top.”
As of now, a dean has yet to be appointed for the School of Computer Science, Innovation and Management Engineering, and there is currently no deanship for the Honors College. Dr. Digby will remain the director.
“You can think of these changes as a statement of our aspirations. The real impact is telling people what we aspire towards and what we aim to do in order to move the campus forward. It’s more a picture of where we want the campus to be rather than an administrative shuffling like it might appear to be,” Kane said.
this area.” Kane acknowledged that