After considerable consultation at the college and university levels, Jackson State University’s College of Public Service has been restructured into two schools, and has added the Mississippi Urban Research Center and two Jackson Heart Study grant programs.
Searches are currently being conducted to select chairs of several departments.
The College of Public Service Dean, Dr. Ricardo Brown, said the restructuring reflects the college’s growth and direction, and the changes were data-driven and based on input from students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
“The reorganization has resulted in the elimination of four administrative positions, allowing us to focus our resources on the primary roles of the college – teaching, research and service,” Brown said. “We want to redistribute resources to faculty and academic programs to benefit students.”
In recent months, the college has hired new faculty, brought on additional visiting faculty and created more innovative learning spaces. Enrollment at the college has grown by 86 percent since 2008.
Under the realignment, the associate deans of the School of Social Work and the School of Health Sciences will report to the dean. Programs previously in the School of Policy and Planning will now report directly to the dean. The Mississippi Urban Research Center has been relocated from the Office of the Division of Research and Federal Relations to the College of Public Service.
Brown, a veteran academic administrator and cardiovascular physiologist who has worked with the National Institutes of Health, arrived at JSU in July 2013. Brown said the college’s nomenclature of “executive director” did not correspond with the structure of titles at academic institutions, and a survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Research showed public service faculty overwhelmingly agreed.
The changes were proposed to JSU’s administration in October, and recently were approved, Brown said.
“These changes will help accelerate the college’s progress and allow for critical re-investment in academic programs. The College of Public Service has been on the forefront of critical issues, including playing a key role in efforts to inform the public about minority health and health disparities and the federal Affordable Care Act,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers.
“I want to commend Dean Brown and the faculty and staff of the College of Public Service for the foresight to create a future-oriented structure that will serve them well for years to come,” said JSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James C. Renick.
Search committees have convened, and chairs will be selected for programs in the School of Social Work, Public Policy and Administration, Urban and Regional Planning, and the School of Health Sciences.