Northwest Missouri State University will commemorate the opening of five professional schools this fall with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open houses on Thursday, September 15.

The program begins at 3:30 pm at the Memorial Bell Tower with remarks by Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski, Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet and Board of Regent Chair Dr. Pat Harr.

Academic halls housing each professional school will be open for tours after the ceremony. The new schools and their locations are:

  School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Colden Hall 1200

• Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business, Colden Hall 3650

• School of Education, Brown Hall main entrance foyer

• School of Communication and Mass Media, Wells Hall second floor

• School of Agricultural Sciences, Valk Center lobby

Professional schools, Mottet said, represent academic units closely aligned with a profession, while academic departments contain broader disciplines.

“This restructuring flattens the organization and empowers academic units to develop new and innovative academic programming and to be more connected to the organizations who hire our graduates,” Mottet said. “It’s allowing us to be more nimble and interdisciplinary, which both students and faculty are requesting.”

Plans for the reorganization developed after a successful 2015 pilot program involving the three academic departments – agricultural sciences, business, and communication and mass media – within the former Booth College of Business and Professional Studies.

The pilot’s success also prompted academic leaders to rethink Northwest’s former department of health and human services, which had been based in the college of education and human services. That initiative led to the development of a new, free-standing, multi-disciplinary school of health science and wellness, which the university launched during the fall of 2015, officially making it Northwest’s first professional school.

Last spring, Northwest concluded the pilot program, dissolving the Booth College and college of education and human services and transitioning academic departments within both colleges to professional schools. Northwest retained its college of arts and sciences, which now houses the departments of English and modern languages, fine and performing arts, humanities and social sciences, mathematics and statistics and natural sciences.