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Changes coming for fall.

17 Jul

I mentioned last week in strategic planning that there were at least four topics that I needed to address with press releases during strategic planning. Late last week, I tackled the first – the recasting of the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts and Sciences.

The move to split the study of arts and sciences was an important decision for LMU. One that will allow further program development and help LMU serve its students better. The recasting created the Paul V. Hamilton School of Mathematics and Sciences and the School of Arts and Humanities.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Clayton Hess announced the changes during the strategic planning retreat and in a memo to faculty in the affected disciplines. The change took effect on July 2.

Dr. Amiel Jarstfer, the former dean of the combined school, will lead the Hamilton School of Mathematics and Sciences while Dr. Martin Sellers formerly the dean of research and service will head the School of Arts and Humanities.

The Hamilton School of Mathematics and Science includes the departments of mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics and will be housed in the nearly completed state-of-the art Math and Science center. The School of Arts and Humanities includes the departments of English, humanities and fine arts, social sciences and social work and is housed primarily in Avery Hall.

Among the program development are enhancements to LMU fine arts department. The University has acquired several buildings and land in the Town of Cumberland Gap with plans to move fine arts into the Gap and provide room to expand offerings in narrative arts. LMU had previously purchased the Cumberland Gap Convention Center and plans to use that to host dinner theater productions among other cultural events.

The creation of two new schools is another exciting change at LMU.


Where in the world is the world?

8 Jul

Checking out the nearly completed Math and Science building earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice that there was something missing. Actually, there are a lot of things missing at this point, but amid the dust and debris of building crews putting the finishing touches on the main lobby, my eye was drawn to what’s not there. At the center of the lobby area, across from where crews have taken great care to install stately marble, stands an area that is clearly waiting for something. The marble, which was reclaimed from the walls of the former Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville, adds opulence to the building even in its unfinished state yet there is still a gaping hole.


The Math and Science Building lobby.

The tiled floor lays the ground work for what is to come. If you were to walk in the main entrance of the Math and Science Center today, you would see a large square with three poles waiting for something. What in the world are we waiting for? Well actually, it’s the world.

Months ago, LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk commissioned Top Stone to create a four-foot rolling sphere fountain and it’s to be installed in the lobby as soon as it arrives. The globe etched sphere can be turned, spun and stopped by hand. However, if left alone the North Pole goes back to the north position. The 5,500 pound sphere floats on a thin layer of water. Top Stones uses unique technology in their fountain. It’s surely a lesson in physics, which is only fitting for the Math and Science Center.

A globe etched stone fountain similar to this on is on its way to LMU.

Top Stone announced the shipment of the LMU fountain in a press release on May 29, 2012. The completed work has been en route every since. The extreme spring and early summer weather and storms have slowed its journey. Approximately two weeks ago, University officials were notified that it had arrived in the New York Harbor and was sitting on a shipping vessel.

We can only assume that it is now on its way to Harrogate, Tenn., by truck. With just over three weeks until LMU-DCOM Class of 2016 orientation is slated to take place in the large auditorium on the first floor of the Math and Science Building, let’s hope the world is here to greet them.





Coming Soon: LMU Honors College

5 Jul

In November Lincoln Memorial University announced that it was developing an honors scholars program that would begin in the Fall of 2012. Now, that program is just weeks away from getting underway with several returning students joining a group of incoming freshmen for the launch.

The academic program for gifted students includes honors courses, an honors thesis project with faculty mentor and learning through service. The scholars program is meant to be the first step to a full-blown honors college at LMU.

The program, which is aimed at providing deeper and broader learning opportunities, will launch in August. The program will have a limited enrollment and will require students to maintain semester and cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or higher with no honors course grade lower than a “C.” Dr. Amiel Jarstfer, dean of the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts and Science, is the architect behind the project, which he has been developing since he joined the University in 2010. The program will be founded with a select group of current undergraduate students who will be grandfathered into the program with a crop of incoming students.

The program will enhance participants’ professional and graduate school applications and provide preferential applicant status for graduates who choose to pursue their career paths at any of LMU’s post- baccalaureate degree programs, including the LMU-DeBusk  College of Osteopathic Medicine or LMU-Duncan School of Law. Additionally, LMU will designate Honors Housing for residential students in the program to help create an atmosphere conducive to collaborative learning.

The program requires scholars to complete an honors core that includes 100, 200, 300, 400 and 499 courses; complete a total of 26 honors program approved courses; complete a minimum of one honors course per year; complete one honors service-learning experience per year; participate in one honors program social event per semester and complete the honors thesis project and defense before a student and faculty panel.

Faculty mentorship will also play a role in the program. This will take place through collaboration in the thesis project, additional instructional and tutorial time as well as research opportunities. Honors courses will be taught exclusively by faculty members in their specialty.

It’s just another step in LMU’s goal to raise the academic bar for its students.