RMU officials announce plans to restructure schools

RMU announces plans to reorganize schools


Megan Shandel

Robert Morris University President Dr. Christopher Howard hosts “Pizza with the President” in order to connect more with student body. Photo Credit: (RMU Sentry Media/Megan Shandel)

Gage Goulding, News Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP – Robert Morris University announced their plans to restructure the school Wednesday morning.

In an email sent to students by President Christopher Howard, the university will be reorganizing the schools within the University.

Remaining schools will include the School of Business, the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies.

“Historically, colleges and universities have often formed schools and academic departments in a rather ad-hoc fashion. But we must be strategic and focused, and our new academic structure represents the best way to serve our students and respond to the demands of the higher education market,” said RMU President Chris Howard.


The former School of Communication and Information Systems will now be housed in the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences. Included in this school will be the information systems, humanities, social sciences, media and communication degrees.

The university also announced that they will be adding a masters degree in cyber investigation and intelligence, which is a result of the collaboration of schools. The course will first be offered in the fall.

Any programs that require professional licensure will now be placed in the School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies. According to the university, degree programs in this school will include health care, teaching certifications and psychology programs.

Also, the health service administration programs will be relocated to the School of Business over the course of a two-year period. In the email sent to students by President Howard, he states the response is due to “the exponential growth of the health care industry in the Pittsburgh region and increasing demand for administrative services in health care systems.”

“RMU has always adapted its curriculum to keep pace with the changing needs of the professional workforce. Today that means providing students with an environment in which they can learn and collaborate with peers in different disciplines, much as they will throughout their careers,” said Mary Ann Rafoth, interim provost and professor of education at RMU.

The university stresses that the current 90 undergraduate and graduate degree offerings will not be affected by the schools restructuring.

Students will mostly be unaffected by the changes, says Robert Morris University Spokesperson Jonathan Potts.

“As far as current students go, they will notice very little that is different. All graduation and other degree requirements remain the same. The faculty teaching their particular program will remain the same,” said Potts. “It is an administrative change that is not going to impact their daily lives. Over time, we do anticipate more and more opportunities for collaboration among faculty and students in different degree programs that now find themselves in the same school, and we have aligned our degree programs with that end in mind.”

The academic changes will go into effect at the university on June 1.

University officials said in a statement to the media that the academic restructuring is part of a larger, university-wide operation to reduce costs to reportedly keep the school affordable for students.

“A staff reorganization plan will have been completed by the end the current fiscal year, with cost savings achieved largely through attrition and voluntary separation agreements,” said the university in a statement.

University spokesperson Jonathan Potts also said in an email statement that the university is on track to meet its goal of eliminating $4-5 million of staff salaries.

“We are on track to realize our goal for reducing our budget for staff salaries and benefits, and we will do so largely through attrition and voluntary separation agreements,” said Potts.

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