BRANDON, MB — Brandon University has a new Faculty. The Dean of Health Studies, Dr. Dean Care, the faculty members and the staff of the former School of Health Studies collaborated to meet the necessary criteria to reach faculty status and at the latest BU Senate meeting, it became official. The School of Health Studies was granted Faculty status and BU has a new Faculty of Health Studies. The elevation of the School to Faculty status was one of Dr. Care’s main goals since his arrival at BU in 2008.
“We used to be a department way back, then became a school in the 1990s. Here it is 15 years later and this is the recognition of achievement and the natural evolution of an academic unit,” Dr. Care said. “For me, it was about setting a higher standard — for research productivity, scholarly work, like publications and presentations, and teaching enhancement approaches.”
To achieve the status of faculty, the former School of Health Studies had to achieve certain criteria, including having “an independent School Council reporting directly to the Senate”, reaching a sizeable number of students and faculty, implementing graduate programs, carrying out noteworthy research, maintaining a worthy performance record, among others.
“Achieving faculty status for Health Studies represents a tremendous accomplishment. It means our faculty have advanced significantly in their pursuit of research and have achieved significant levels of funding,” said Dr. D. Noreen Ek, Chair Psych Nursing Dept, Acting Coordinator Master’s of Psychiatric Nursing. “Additionally, it means we are reaping the benefits of dedicated faculty who have advanced their educational level, from Masters to PhD’s, while maintaining a teaching commitment. All faculty deserve recognition for the part they have played in delivering quality programs that has helped us achieve this status. It’s like we have finally ‘arrived’.”
Another objective of Health Studies was to garner approval of the two main nursing programs by their respective colleges in the province. Dr. Care stated that this acknowledgement is a sign of excellence and indeed, the Faculty of Health Studies at BU has now fulfilled this. External reviewers awarded the psychiatric nursing program five-year approval and the nursing program four-year approval — the maximum for both.
“This development is so important – for our students, the Faculty and the University. It raises the profile of the entire program making the BU Health Studies experience more valuable to the students. The achievement of this benchmark is a testament to the hard work Dr. Care and the faculty devoted to this initiative,” said Dr. Deborah Poff, Brandon University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
Some fast facts about Health Studies at Brandon University:
- 1986 — Two post-diploma programs in nursing and psychiatric nursing, under the auspices of the Department of Nursing and Health Studies, are introduced at BU, housed in the Faculty of Science.
- 1995 — BU launches Canada’s first four-year baccalaureate program in psychiatric nursing and the School of Health Studies is created.
- 1998 — The first two years of the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing is offered by distance education, in Winnipeg, in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg.
- 2001 — Funding from the provincial government in the amount of $5 million heralds the arrival of the four-year B.N. at BU.
- 2003 — The new Health Studies Complex opens its doors.
- 2005 — The Winnipeg campus expands its student capacity in the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing and classes are now held in the Rice Financial Building.
- 2011 — The Master of Psychiatric Nursing is launched, with 13 part-time and full-time students from across the country.