Baylor to launch College of Health and Human Sciences

July 24, 2014

At its spring meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents voted to establish the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) by uniting four existing health-related academic units and creating a forward-looking organizational structure to advance the University's commitment to health-related education and research.

The anchor units that will collaborate to form the HHS—Communication Sciences and Disorders, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, and the Louise Herrington School of Nursing—all share a common purpose of improving the quality of life of individuals, families and communities. However, the HHS will be broader in scope than some universities that focus solely on preparing students for careers in the health professions.

The HHS will draw upon Baylor’s Christian mission and tradition in health care to prepare scholars and leaders who can translate theory into practice and advance knowledge of health, human behavior and quality of life. The HHS will create curricula that promote a team-based approach to patient care, establish interdisciplinary research collaborations and form the infrastructure for future health-related graduate programs.

The establishment of the HHS represents the culmination of more than three years of evaluation and input from numerous stakeholders, including Regents, the Provost’s Office, deans, faculty and staff, external entities including health care partners, and the national consulting firm Grant Thornton.

“Baylor’s name has been synonymous with excellence in health care for decades,” said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, then executive vice president and provost. “The creation of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor represents an important step forward strengthening our position in health and wellness-related education, research and community engagement, within the context of Baylor’s commitment to integrate faith and academic excellence.”

In addition, Davis noted that bringing these academic units together in closer conversation and partnership will provide greater coordination and oversight of most health/human sciences-related programming, education, innovation and research at the University.

“Curricula will be strengthened and opportunities for research, creative endeavors and clinical experiences at Baylor will increase with a more coordinated effort as programs work together with external partners,” Davis said.

Davis announced that Dr. Shelley F. Conroy, currently dean of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, has been appointed to a two-year term as the inaugural dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Rodney G. Bowden, professor of health, human performance and recreation and associate dean for graduate programs and research in the School of Education, has been appointed executive associate dean of the HHS. The provost also has convened an implementation team that will work together to address important issues associated with the introduction of the new College and create a timeline for the launch of the HHS.

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