BY BRITTANY POLSON
During the Board of Visitors meeting that occurred Nov. 14-16, the BOV voted to discontinue the bachelor of Professional Studies degree. The BOV has been in the process of absorbing the degree into other departments since 2010, with the aim of the degree being gone by 2016.
According to a report to the BOV prepared by Provost Jonathan Levin and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jon T. Morello, the BPS program included concentrations in accounting, computer information systems, geographic information science, information assistance and security, interdisciplinary studies and leadership and management. During 2010 committee meetings, the BOV discussed reestablishing these programs into existing departments.
In the 2010 meeting, they concluded that accounting, computer information systems and information assurance programs would be absorbed by the College of Business. Geographic information sciences was moved to the geography department in the College of Arts and Sciences. Meanwhile, interdisciplinary studies remained an option within the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of liberal studies programs.
After these decisions in 2010, students and faculty received letters detailing the rearrangement of the internal structure and eventual intent to discontinue the BPS program entirely. According to the BOV report, by January 2011 a “teach out” plan was created, in which students were no longer allowed acceptance into the BPS program. By January of 2012, the “teach out” plan was in place.
The decision to discontinue the BPS program is said to have no impact on full-time faculty and staff within the College of Business. Likewise, students who are currently enrolled in the BPS program will receive individual guidance to ensure that that are able to achieve the degree that began if they go past the 2016 program termination date.
“It’s a good idea. I haven’t heard of too many people pursuing a bachelor of professional studies and those specific concentrations all could easily be related to a business degree,” said business major Jack Eaton.
Waiting to ensure complete reorganization of the College of Business and to established graduation trends for the remaining students active in the BPS program, the BOV did not officially vote until the November 2013 meeting. With all remaining BPS students scheduled to graduate by 2016, the BOV voted to move forward with the intent to discontinue and formally submit it to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.