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New SFU academic structure spurs innovation aligned with workforce trends

July 31, 2018 Tags: Admissions , Advancement & Alumni , School of Arts and Letters , School of Business , School of Health Sciences and Education , School of STEAM , University News

Einstein QuoteThis week a bold, new academic organizational structure has been unveiled at Saint Francis University, designed to bring SFU together as ONE UNIVERSITY that can innovate in the face of ever-changing career trends. 

The shift in structure is designed to facilitate collaboration, to encourage growth and development, and to break down silos that have formed over the past decade. The new vision will allow SFU to create a more innovative (and affordable) educational experience. 

 Going forward our existing portfolio of programs is realigned as follows:

  •  The Shields School of Business led by Dr. Randy Frye as Dean
  • The School of Health Sciences and Education led by Dr. Don Walkovich as Dean
  • The School of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics led by Dr. Pete Skoner as Interim Dean
  • The Library led by Sandra Balough as Dean

"Since 1847, Saint Francis University has made it our mission to prepare workforce-ready professionals who are competent, caring, and compassionate. In a few short years, SFU will be celebrating our 175th anniversary.  In order for our graduates to continue to be integral problem- solvers for the next 175 years and beyond, we need to re-imagine the academic programming to meet evolving societal needs," shared President Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D. 

This structure shift resulted from an in-depth study that found having academic fields separated into four schools has increased costs for students, and created silos that prevent the arts and humanities from being a truly immersive experience for all students. Conversely, these “silos” are impeding our liberal arts majors from fully experiencing the benefits of a strong business and STEM foundation.

 According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, nearly 300,000 jobs statewide require STEM skills. Over the next decade, more than 70 percent of new jobs will require these skills.

"We want to make sure these job opportunities are accessible to EVERY one of our graduates," said Van Tassell.

As the re-alignment takes place, current students are still able to continue toward their original major. No changes have occurred in programs and/or offerings for this academic year.  New majors are under development that will offer additional choices for current and incoming students.