ASU’s College of Health Solution to change department infrastructure

ABOR agreed to let ASU reorganize within the College of Health Solutions

ASU is unraveling bureaucracy while expanding research within the College of Health Solutions following a vote by the Arizona Board of Regents to disassemble and reorganize the College. 

Five academic departments within the College will dissolve, including the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Department of Speech and Hearing Science and the School of Health Care Delivery

The move was proposed and approved in an unanimous vote during an ABOR meeting on Sept. 27, 2018. 

Faculty within the College have been planning this aggregation of departments for several months according to an ABOR meeting document.

However, Deborah Helitzer, dean of the College of Health Solutions, said students will not be negatively impacted by the change.

“They're not getting rid of any of the degree programs, we just got rid of the bureaucracy,” Helitzer said. “(For example), the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion … had three chairpersons and then a director. There's no need to have all of those layers of bureaucracy.”

However, Helitzer said more certificates and degrees will be added to the College of Health Solutions that would have fallen under the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion despite the School dissolving as an official entitiy.

“We’re increasing the number of nutrition programs and increasing the exercise programs, so the students are actually going to have more options,” Helitzer said.

She also said they want to reorganize the College of Health Solutions in order to teach in a similar way to how the health care and research fields operate.

“The way the College of Health Solutions was organized was that everything was in these silos but we know in order for us to make an impact … we all need to work together … and so we break down these silos and bring all the faculty together and say 'okay, how do we address these health problems in a much more comprehensive way?'”

According to the Human Resource for Health Global Resource Center, the field of health care is, by definition, "a multidisciplinary profession" that relies on team work and shared resources.

Because of this new interdisciplinary shift, the College of Health Solutions will create teams of researchers, students and community members to explore more niche areas within healthcare research.

The College calls these groups "translational" teams and Scott Leischow, the director of the College of Health Solutions, said these teams are crucial to the changes happening within the department. 

“It’s an initiative designed to foster multiple teams that will work together to address important health issues,” Leischow said.


Not only are students going to be involved in the teams, but Helitzer said students will be an integral part of the entire disestablishment process.

Helitzer said they sent out surveys to the community to receive input on how the College of Health Solutions could improve and they used these reports to form their new vision.

Dahlia Stott, an Undergraduate Student Government Downtown senator for the College of Health Solutions and a senior studying nutrition, said she believes these changes will benefit her and other students by promoting a "spirit of collaboration.

“As somebody that isn’t going into the healthcare field to be a doctor, I don’t know the different areas of health care, different areas of helping people, other than my own,” she said.

Stott also said this change is going to help students be better prepared from their freshman year to when they begin a career in the healthcare field.

“Starting that collaboration from the first semester of college and continuing that until the day they retire will really benefit students,” Stott said.


Reach the reporter at mzhao49@asu.edu and follow @michelle_zhao23 on Twitter. 

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