In a move to better address today’s health care needs and enhance its mission to provide a values-based education, Benedictine University announced the establishment of a College of Science and Health. Dr. Elizabeth Ritt, who joined Benedictine in 2011 as chair and professor of Nursing and Health, will be Dean of the new College.
The move restructures the College of Education and Health Services and streamlines Benedictine Colleges from four to three: Science & Health, Liberal Arts and Business. Benedictine will continue to offer its full complement of Education courses through the School of Education.
“This new College will provide students with both the knowledge and inspiration to help solve our world’s health problems today and into the future,” said Benedictine President Charles Gregory. “Students will find a wide-variety of course options in science and health designed specifically to prepare them for careers in these fields.”
Gregory emphasized that Benedictine’s mission to provide values-based learning is essential to producing real-world problem solvers. “It’s not enough to teach facts and stats,” he insisted. “Learning must delve deeper into the ideals, morals and principles involved in the science…that’s what today’s young minds are looking for…and that’s how we will produce a new generation of science and healthcare industry leaders.”
Ken Newbold, Benedictine’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, said the new College of Science and Health will offer students innovative course options taught by faculty leaders in their respective fields. According to Newbold: “The collaboration of these fields of interest will provide our students new pathways to advanced study and careers they couldn’t have previously envisioned.”
The re-imagining of science and health into a single college will result in innovative collaborations and curriculums that offers students the opportunity to take a new and creative mix of courses that brings disciplines together to study complex problems such as global warming and public health by integrating fields such as chemistry and biology. Newbold said the University will provide experiences inside and out of the classroom that enables students to successfully pursue their next level of education and/or their occupational goal.
According to the College’s new dean, faculty in the newly formed college have been at the forefront of research, scholarship, innovative teaching, and service to the broader community for decades. “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought our team together with a steadfast focus on tracking global health concerns. Just consider what our immediate and global communities are facing: infectious disease, chronic health problems, climate change, the lack of accessible and affordable health care, and significant healthcare disparities. It will take a multi-disciplinary approach to manage and solve these problems and that’s what Benedictine’s College of Science and Health is designed to accomplish.”
Problems on the scope of pandemics and climate control are immense, but Benedictine University has and will continue to attract students with the passion and courage to take them on. “Something extraordinary is happening here,” said President Gregory. “There is nothing small about the dreams and ambitions of our 2,500-plus students. Our job is to make sure we give them opportunity to realize these dreams, and that is the driving force behind the creation of Benedictine University’s new College of Science and Health.”