At the UK College of Health Sciences, we strive to be the “gateway to the health professions.” We are a doorway that students, faculty, and staff—who seek to touch every aspect of health care— can walk through to their next destination. As we grow, our gateway and impact across Kentucky and beyond continues to widen. Every year, more students apply to our programs and our retention and graduation rates increase. Growth and demand for our programs are steadily rising, and in order to better respond to the variety of needs this growth brings, the College of Health Sciences will be undergoing a structural realignment effective July 2019.
We will be moving away from the old infrastructure of divisions and adopting a new structure that creates an undergraduate program department and four departments for our professional and graduate programs: The Department of Health and Clinical Sciences (which will house our undergraduate programs: Medical Laboratory Science, Human Health Sciences, and Clinical Leadership and Management), The Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition, The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The Department of Physical Therapy, and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
With this new structure, our doctoral program will be able to interface with all five departments and serve multiple disciplines. Just like the majority of the health sciences landscape, each of our programs are collaborative and interprofessional. This new departmental structure will ensure that this interdisciplinary culture is cultivated and expanded.
The new departmental structure will also enable us to be more efficient in delivering both our undergrad pre-professional programs and our graduate professional programs. We have created an Office of Undergraduate Education to accommodate the immense growth of our pre-professional and exploratory students. One department dedicated to undergraduate education ensures our faculty and staff provide more support and services catered to undergraduate success. This focus will surely result in positive outcomes for our many undergraduate students.
Additionally, this expansion allows our graduate programs to have a more autonomous function according to discipline instead of division. This simpler arrangement of independent departments—led by faculty chairs—enables each specific program to support their individual efforts in accordance with the expectations of their respective accrediting bodies rather than requiring universal norms.
Efficiency is key when we think about the future. The realignment removes unnecessary layers of administration and increases transparency and communication from leadership to faculty to staff. We are setting our college up to be more flexible and with the ability to make decisions and react quickly to the changing landscape of academia.
It’s imperative we stay relevant in our own market and create more opportunities for our success to be known. Our new structure will be more consistent with that of other top health science colleges across the country and grant our programs the opportunity to thrive and remain competitive.
Every one of our programs has the potential to keep advancing, and we are seeing the evidence of this as each year passes. We look forward to embracing this new structure that will make us more attractive to potential students and establish our gateway as the most efficient and sought out experience in the health sciences fields.