Board of Trustees approves new academic programs

By Carly Simpson | 5/4/14 9:27pm


GVL/Kevin Sielaff
David S. Hooker, Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, gives his authorization to certain proposals being held before the board of trustees. The board approved most of those presented on 4/30 in Kirkoff’s Pere Marquette room.

Undergraduate and graduate students at Grand Valley State University will soon have more options when it comes to choosing a major. Several programs will be added this year to the catalogue of 81 undergraduate majors and 32 graduate programs.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on April 30, members approved a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, three management majors and a masters of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.

In Michigan, 23 universities have programs approved by the American Chemical Society. Of those schools, GVSU is the only institution that does not have an explicit biochemistry major.

Instead, the chemistry program at GVSU currently has five emphases. The most popular emphasis, biochemistry, holds 45 percent of the students.

“Students coming to Grand Valley or considering Grand Valley don’t necessarily find (biochemistry) right away,” said Frederick Antczak, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Often they are asking at orientation ‘do you have a biochemistry major?’ Technically we don’t.”

Antczak added that, “This change will make the program visible to all.”

The management major in the Seidman College of Business at GVSU is also split into multiple emphases. The four emphasis areas include general management, human resources management, operations management and management information systems. However, the first three are going to be transitioned into majors.

“The current emphases have matured enough that each is appropriate for designation as a separate major,” said John Reifel, interim dean of Seidman College of Business.

The fourth program, management information systems, is being held from becoming a major at this time due to unresolved questions. There are concerns that this program could have affects on the accreditation of the information systems program within the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.

“These changes will aid our students as they begin their careers to gain specific credentials in their areas of expertise,” Reifel said. “All of the curricular, faculty, staff, facilities and financial structures are in place to implement this evolution without additional costs or modifications.”

Graduate students will have the option for a completely new program. Students seeking a masters degree will have the chance to go through a 36-credit program for philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.

“We worked with our students, our faculty and our community to see if there really was a need for this degree and we can tell you there is a need, not only in Michigan but around the country,” said George Grant, dean of the College of Community and Public Service. “Over 12 percent of people employed in Michigan now are in the nonprofit sector and those numbers will only continue to go up.”

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