Food and Nutrition program waiting for approval to relocate to different college, building

The Food and Nutrition faculty is nearing the end of a process that, if completed, will allow the program to move from the College of Education and Human Development to the College of Health and Human Services.

The process began in the spring of 2012, when faculty discussed the possibility and submitted a “white paper” to Provost Rodney Rogers, which was the first official step, said Rebecca Pobocik, an associate professor and the coordinator of the Food and Nutrition program.

After the white paper, Rogers formed an Academic Reconfiguration Committee.

“We’re not changing our program, we’re putting it in a different place. So it’s reconfiguration,” Pobocik said.

After interviewing people from both colleges, the committee agreed that the move was a good idea.

Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council and some Faculty Senate committees also approved the idea. Faculty Senate as a whole approved the move with a unanimous vote on Dec. 2, 2014.

The Board of Trustees is the last group that needs to vote.

Pobocik was uncertain when the program might move if the Board of Trustees approves the change.

If the program changes colleges, it will physically move as well, into the Health and Human Services building [the former health center].

“The renovations that were being planned for the College of Health and Human Services were adjusted, because they thought it was a good idea,” Pobocik said. “They are putting in a place for us.”

The main reason for the move is that Food and Nutrition would fit better with the programs in Health and Human Services.

“Nutrition is, these days, mostly a health profession,” Pobocik said.

Health and Human Services includes applied health science, communication sciences and disorders, criminal justice, gerontology, medical laboratory science, nursing and social work, according to the college’s web page.

At the Dec. 2 Faculty Senate meeting, associate professor and coordinator of the Food and Nutrition graduate program Dawn Anderson said that working with students in other health-related programs would be beneficial to Food and Nutrition students.

The move “would enhance the interaction and greater collaboration between the food and nutrition faculty and the health faculty, and also between the food and nutrition students and the health and human services students,” Anderson said.

Another reason for the move would be to aid recruitment and retention, Pobocik said.

Potential students tend to think the program would be in Health and Human Services and may not think to look for it in the College of Education and Human Development.

On Feb. 20, the Board of Trustees will vote on whether the program should move.