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Board of Regents Approves Gladys L. Benerd School of Education and University College Merger

May 8, 2019

During their April meeting, the Board of Regents approved the merger of the Benerd School of Education and University College to form the Benerd College of Professional Studies. The effective date for the merger will be July 1, 2019.

Much like the newly approved School of Integrated Health Studies, the Board wishes for a consultant study to determine the most brand and subject appropriate name going forward.

The Benerd School of Education (BSE) is at a critical juncture in its history and operations. There is a tremendous need for teachers, continuing education for teachers, and K-12 educational leaders in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. Pacific's current price point creates the perception that Pacific is not an affordable option for those wishing to pursue studies to become primary or secondary school teachers or school administrators. Dean Webster and the BSE faculty have been considering how to position the school for a strong future in their strategic planning for over a year.

Growing Pacific's ability to prepare and continuously educate teachers and educational leaders in the region will require offering relevant learning opportunities for the K-12 education community, flexible pricing options, and innovative program delivery. Merging with Pacific's University College can allow BSE to achieve these goals.

The University College (UC) focuses on degree completion and professional development via continuing and professional education courses, programs, and certificates, using varied instructional pedagogies. The vast majority (>80%) of UC programming is for primary and secondary teachers. UC is also the center for online and hybrid course development and houses the University's instructional designers to assist faculty in developing and implementing high quality on line courses.

By merging BSE with University College Pacific can create a school with pricing flexibility, alternative delivery expertise and a support structure to offer innovative programs, ensuring Pacific the opportunity to expand our quality education preparation for San Joaquin County and beyond.

Pursuant to Faculty Handbook Section 3.7.1, a Special Review Committee (SRC) was formed by the Provost and met to explore the possibility of a merger between the Benerd School of Education and University College. Prior to the formation of the SRC, the faculties of each unit voted unanimously, without objection, to the proposed merger. The SRC unanimously supports merging the two units to leverage strengths and program opportunities to better meet educational needs in our region. During the forthcoming year the faculty will ensure smooth transitions of programming, streamline administration to efficiently meet the needs of the merged organization and adjust/develop shared governance processes as needed. Patricia Campbell will serve as the dean of the merged entity, the Benerd College of Professional Studies, and Linda Webster will serve as senior associate dean. 

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