By Jeff Murphy, February 22, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – In addition to setting instructional and general education fees at the current level for the 2016-2017 academic year, pending legislative approval of the Missouri Governor’s proposed increase in state appropriations for higher education, the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors approved six new academic programs and three academic program revision requests when it met in plenary session Feb. 12.
Board action with regard to academic and general fees took place following discussion led by Charles Ambrose, university president, and Ron Core, senior vice president for finance and administration. They indicated that although the state legislature has not approved its final budget, the university must begin efforts to inform students of rates for the 2016-2017 academic year, and to prepare UCM systems for the fall 2016 billing cycle.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has pledged a record level 6 percent increase to higher education for those state-supported institutions that hold resident undergraduate tuition at the FY16 level. A portion of the increase would be earmarked toward funding for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Although the university could potentially change fees if legislative funding falls below the Governor’s recommendation, maintaining tuition at the FY16 level means undergraduate students will continue to pay $214.85 per credit hour, and a flat rate of $438 for general fees, if they are taking nine or more credit hours. Students taking less than nine semester hours will pay $29.20 per hour. The university also would sustain at the current rate non-resident undergraduate academic fees at $429.70 per semester hour; $278.45 per semester hour for resident graduate students; and $556.90 per hour for non-resident graduates.
The board authorized changes for certain graduate-level instruction offered at UCM-Lee’s Summit. This consists of a $50 per credit hour increase in Computer Science (CS) and Computer Information System (CIS) graduate level courses, and setting the rate for the new Master of Science in Ethical Strategic Leadership (ESTL) at $441.80 per semester hour.
The MS ESTL degree also was approved by the board during the meeting Feb. 12, following a presentation by Christine Opatrny, chair of the Department of Management in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. Although the degree must still be approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE), this is a 30-credit-hour, five-semester cohort-based program designed for working professionals who are serving as managers who were predominantly trained in undergraduate disciplines other than business. The School of Business Administration in the Harmon College currently offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Ethical Strategic leadership at UCM – Lee’s Summit. The MS ESTL will appeal to students who have an interest in a more specialized degree concentration versus the more general MBA. The MS ESTL will replace the MBA program’s concentration in Ethical Strategic Leadership.
A new Master of Business and Science in Aviation Technology and Operations Management (MBS-ATOM) degree in the Harmon College was approved by the board. This program, which must gain CBHE approval, is in response to a growing demand for aviation industry managers who have both technical aviation expertise and strategic management skills. Daniel Wong, assistant professor of aviation, told the board UCM currently offers an MS in Aviation Safety degree, which offers excellent training and career opportunities in an important technical field, but it does not provide the combination of aviation-related and managerial preparation required for most executive-level positions in the aviation industry. This program, which would be the only one of its kind in Missouri, will serve the needs of practicing aviation professionals who want to advance in their careers.
The board approved a new Education Specialist in Educational Technology degree. According to Odin Jurkowski, chair of the Department of Career and Technology Education within the College of Education, this is part of an effort to replace the Education Specialist in Human Services degree with a new set of separate Education Specialist degrees to give students multiple options that more accurately reflect program offerings in the department, which has experienced a 300 percent increase in enrollment in its Educational Technology program in the past eight years. The degree, which could be offered in fall 2016, must still gain CBHE approval.
A new Bachelor of Science in Anthropology degree was approved, and will be housed in the Department of History and Anthropology in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Amber Clifford-Napoleone, associate professor in the department, noted that the new degree addresses interest from a growing number of students who are making anthropology an individualized major. Standardizing the degree will make it less cumbersome for students to enroll and for university staff and faculty in the department to track and advise majors. If approved by CBHE, the degree would be included in the academic course catalogue for fall 2016.
Following a presentation by Jason Holland, professor of chemistry in the School of Environmental, Physical, and Applied Sciences, the board authorized the revision of the existing Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree to include three options: Chemistry, American Chemical Society (ACS) Certified, and Biochemistry. This revision will eliminate the stand-alone Biochemistry degree and will provide one degree for students that offers the flexibility of selecting a specialization in Biochemistry, Chemistry, or an ACS-approved Chemistry degree.
Considering program name changes that would more accurately represent the varied skill set and body of knowledge provided by different options, the board approved renaming the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Option 1 from Software Design to Software Development. It also approved a request to change program Option 3 from Computer Networking and Security to Computer Networking, and adding a new option titled Data Science. These program name changes, which must be approved by the CBHE, were presented by Xiaodong Yue, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, to be available in fall 2016.
The board approved changing the name of the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology program to Medical Laboratory Science, pending CBHE approval. Fanson Kidwaro, chair of the Department of Biology and Agriculture, said the name change is more reflective of currently used terminology in this field, and will help enhance the marketability of the program.
Three academic minor programs were approved with a goal to make them available for fall 2016.
A new minor in Hospitality Management will be housed in the Harmon College’s Department of Management. UCM currently offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Hospitality degree and a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. The minor is a cross-disciplinary business program that provides supplemental preparation for graduates’ employment by large hotel and restaurant chains, as well as other managerial business positions.
The new minor in Big Data and Business Analytics will be housed in the Harmon College’s School of Accountancy and Computer Information Systems. The program meets a growing national need for organizational professionals that know how to store and manage data, which can be used for strategic organizational decision making.