Priory campus plans focus on students and administration

By Cory Lesniak

The School of Education is on the move again. After relocating to Parmer Hall from Lewis Hall last year the department is now moving to the Priory campus as part of a targeted $2 million plan to increase the smaller campus’s identity and maximize the use of space.

The 15 plus faculty and staff members of the Priory Visioning Committee (PVC) are tasked with creating a plan for the Priory campus that creates a strong, student-centered identity, maximizes campus space, develops a mix of programs and creates sufficient occupation by students, faculty and staff. The members considered a range of scenarios for utilizing the Priory campus. Member Jill Albin-Hill, vice president of Information Technology, said, “Suggestions such as creating a campus of administrative offices…. or creating a campus focused on the arts were rejected early in deliberations as they struggled to meet the above goals for the Priory.”

Scenarios that did receive extensive consideration included the development of the Priory campus as a graduate center, relocating the School of Education to the Priory campus, where it would operate alongside the Graduate School of Social Work, and moving existing and emerging health science departments to the Priory campus.

Albin-Hill said: “After considerable deliberation the committee is now focusing its efforts on proposing the creation of a School of Education, Health and Human Services (EHHS). These three units have a number of synergies already, for example, the School of Education and the Graduate School of Social Work share the preparation of school social workers.”

EHHS is designed to align synergies and possibly reduce redundancy on administrative support by combining offices, faculty and staff. This move would mean more students may have to take the trip to the Priory campus for class.

The full proposal goes to the Board of Trustees for approval this spring and renovations and moves will run from May 2015 to August 2016. The final project is scheduled for completion by September 2016.