Union University News Office
JACKSON — Union University trustees approved an academic reorganization for the university that will create the School of Social Work and the School of Adult and Professional Studies, in addition to changing the names of three other schools at their April 21 meeting.
The McAfee School of Business Administration will become the McAfee School of Business, the School of Pharmacy will become the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Education and Human Studies will become the College of Education.
The School of Social Work at Union has been a non-degree-granting school under the umbrella of the College of Education and Human Studies. This reorganization makes the School of Social Work its own degree-granting school.
As part of the creation of the two new schools, trustees approved the appointment of Mary Anne Poe as the founding dean of the School of Social Work and Beverly Absher as the founding dean of the School of Adult and Professional Studies.
“It’s encouraging to us to see the growth of these two programs in recent years,” said Lisa Rogers, chairman of Union’s board of trustees. “With the leadership these two deans will provide, we’re confident that these two new schools will continue to develop and flourish in the days ahead.”
Poe currently serves as associate dean for social work, professor of social work, and as director of Union’s Center for Just and Caring Communities. Absher is chair of the department of continuing studies, professor of educational leadership, and associate vice president for auxiliary operations.
Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said he was pleased to have these two leaders on the Union campus join the Academic Deans’ Council, as they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and wisdom concerning their respective schools.
Oliver said social work and continuing studies have both grown and developed under the College of Education and Human Studies.
“Both of them have grown enough to where they are large enough academic units that need their own focus and their own advocacy with a dean on the Academic Deans’ Council,” Oliver said. “The College of Education and Human Studies was an effective incubator for both of those programs.”
The nomenclature change for the business, pharmacy, and education schools was adopted to be consistent with colleges and universities across the country, Oliver said.
The reorganization officially takes effect Aug. 1 with the start of a new fiscal and academic year.
In his report to the trustees, Oliver updated them on Union’s accreditation reaffirmation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. An on-site review committee from SACSCOC visited Union in March and produced a report, and Oliver said Union is working on a few items that the committee outlined for clarification and documentation.
None of the recommendations from the review committee related to core requirements or federal standards.
“We’re encouraged by the work of the on-site review committee and their affirmation of our work as an institution,” Oliver said. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to evaluate and continuously improve our operations.”
In other matters, trustees approved a budget of $90.4 million, a small increase to the current budget of $90.2 million, and approved a number of Union faculty members for promotions, tenure, and research leaves.