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Volume 71, Issue 48, Thursday, November 3, 2005

News

New name for GSSW?

Board of Regents must approve name change proposal

By Jessica Robertson
The Daily Cougar

The UH System Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee approved Tuesday a proposal to change the Graduate School of Social Work's name to the Graduate College of Social Work.

The name change will reflect the organizational model used by UH to refer to academic units that are led by a dean and report to a provost as colleges. The University uses the term school to label structures that are not independent units and are housed within larger colleges.

"If we look at all the colleges in the University, like the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences or the (C.T.) Bauer College of Business, they're all called colleges," GSSW Dean Ira Colby said. "(The term) ‘school' refers to departments within the University that are housed within colleges. Since we're an independent unit within the University, we thought our name should reflect our place within the University."

An external committee of community members began meeting last spring to discuss the possibility of a name change. The committee determined that the change from school to college would better reflect the range of programs and activities offered by the social work graduate program and align the graduate programs at UH with those at other national universities.

Many students said the name change will not affect how they see themselves within the University.

"I don't know that the name really separates us at all," social work graduate student Jessica Posada said. "I know people who are part of other colleges in the University, and I don--t feel different from them. 

"I'm just in this building, taking classes here. I don't think it changes how I feel about being part of the program or part of the UH system."

The college offers master's and doctorate degree programs in social work as well as professional continuing education courses and certification.

The name change will not affect programming or administrative structure within the GSSW because it has been operating as a college, not a school, despite its name, Colby said. 

"There's really minimal cost entailed in this," he said. "It's just promotional materials, like business cards and stationery that are the normal operating costs of any colleges, (that will have to be changed)."

The name change will go to the full Board of Regents for approval at its next general meeting Nov. 17. 

If the regents pass the measure, the college will begin distributing materials with its new name at the end of the year, and the name change will be go into effect in January.

Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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