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Ferris Trustees Approve Five New Academic Degree Programs

Board of TrusteesFerris State University’s Board of Trustees granted approval for five new academic programs at a meeting on Wednesday, March 28 held in the College of Business on the Big Rapids campus.

Trustees approved Bachelor of Science degrees in Healthcare Marketing, Insurance and Risk Management, and Graphic Media Management; an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Communications; and a Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence. The five new degrees are consistent with the university’s expressed goals to develop and maintain academic programs that fit with the career goals of students and the needs of communities in Michigan and beyond, according to Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“At Ferris, our programs are under constant review,” Erickson said. “Our faculty do a terrific job of reviewing our programs and recommending changes, additions, or closures so that we can continue to offer modern and useful degrees for our students.”

The bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Marketing is designed to prepare graduates for marketing careers in healthcare, including hospitals, hospital systems, physician practices, specialized clinics and more. The bachelor’s degree in Insurance and Risk Management was recommended by faculty with support from alumni and executives. Currently, Olivet College offers the only other insurance degree program in the state of Michigan. The new Graphic Media Management degree is designed to help graduates move from largely mechanical-based processes to develop the required electronic and digital skills necessary for entering careers in graphic communications. The AAS in Graphic Communications, which will be based in the College of Business, will provide a name that is consistent with National Classification of Instructional Program codes and the industry-recognized name of “Graphic Communications.” The master’s degree in ISM has been designed to align with the successful undergraduate Information Security and Intelligence program.

All of the programs approved by the trustees begin in the Fall 2012 Semester.

David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, presented Diversity at Ferris 2011, the fourth annual assessment of the university’s progress toward implementing Ferris’ first diversity plan, approved by trustees in 2008. The report’s general assessment is that Ferris has made great progress to infuse diversity into its culture and that this will be an “ongoing effort.” The report cited a number of areas of progress. From Fall 2007 to Fall 2011, the number of Tuition Incentive Program students increased from 477 to 886. For the eighth consecutive year, the number of Hispanic/Latino students at the university increased. In Fall 2011, there were 423 Hispanic/Latino students, representing 2.91 percent of the student population. The Office of International Education has facilitated visits by faculty/staff from international universities and has increased the number of international students attending Ferris. The university has grown its international student population from 157 enrolled in Fall 2007 to 226 in Fall 2011.

In other action, trustees approved:

  • The award of an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry for Rick DeVos, a social entrepreneur from Grand Rapids best known for launching ArtPrize; an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service for Brent Knight, a Ferris alumnus and the president of Lansing Community College; and an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry to JoLaine R. Draugalis, a Ferris alumnae and dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma, at commencement ceremonies in May 2012;
  • The closure of Bachelor of Science degrees in Printing Management and New Media Printing and Publishing, the Associate of Applied Science in Printing and Digital Graphic Imaging, and the Master of Science in Information Systems Management;
  • Two new appointments and 26 reappointments to the boards of directors of Ferris-authorized charter school academies;
  • Nine sabbatical leave requests including John Scott Gray, Dennis Ruzicka and Kent Sun from the College of Arts, Sciences and Education; Julie Doyle and Kathleen Vandemark from the College of Business; Amy Kavanaugh from the College of Education and Human Services; Warren Kloppe from the College of Engineering Technology; Lucy Ngoh from the College of Pharmacy; and Yuri Konovalov from the Ferris Library for Information Technology and Education;
  • A resolution supporting the creation of a faculty and staff wellness program in partnership with Asset Health for 2012-13; A request for proposals, and bid solicitation for pre-construction design, consulting and construction management services for the renovation of the University Center;
  • The naming of Dr. Ronald Mahoney, of Houston, Texas, to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors.