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October 28, 1999

ULM Receives Final Approval for Health Sciences Realignment

The Louisiana Board of Regents granted final approval Thursday for the restructuring of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe into three separate colleges.

"The outstanding accomplishments of our faculty and students in the health sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe warrant this action by the Board of Regents. We are certainly pleased with this decision which recognizes ULM's tradition of excellence in the education of health care professionals," President Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., said Thursday. "We believe that this reorganization will allow us to be even more competitive in this area -- an area recognized in our strategic plan as an integral part of ULM's mission. This step will be a catalyst for growth across the entire University as new academic programs are developed to meet the needs of the burgeoning health care industry."

Long known as a leader throughout the South in health sciences education, ULM will now have seven Colleges, three of which are specifically in the health sciences area: the College of Pharmacy, the College of Nursing, and the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions. Under the previous single college structure, the ULM College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was divided into three divisions which administered 13 different degree programs. The College was made up of 110 faculty members and 3,060 students, or 30 percent of ULM's enrollment.

Under the new arrangement, the College of Pharmacy will have four programs, 44 faculty members and 958 students; the College of Nursing one program, 33 faculty and 752 students; and the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions eight programs, 33 faculty and 1,360 students. An additional aspect of the restructuring is the transfer of the Department of Communicative Disorders from the College of Liberal Arts to the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions.

Each of the three Colleges will be headed by a dean and all three Colleges will answer directly to ULM's Academic Vice President. The new organization will take effect this January.

"This is a major step toward providing focus for the University's best-recognized areas and establishing a significant identity for our students and faculty in all health disciplines," Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Arlen Zander said. "The reorganization provides for greater efficiency of operation and provides substantial additional opportunities for funding."

According to the ULM proposal, the initial cost to the University to implement this plan will be approximately $55,050 for the remainder of this fiscal year. Costs in future years will be covered through reallocations within the regular University budget. The reorganization provides opportunities for additional Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement to the University for services provided by various educational/health service clinics run by the health sciences program.

"It has been a pleasure to work with the faculty and directors of the school of nursing and the school of allied health for the past 13 years," said Dr. William Bourn who has served as the Dean of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and will continue as the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. "Now is the time for a greater level of autonomy to serve those two areas. We all intend to continue with the wonderful harmony we have enjoyed during these years. We will just be more efficient."

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