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Academic Restructuring

Academic Restructuring

Academic Restructuring and Naming of Goodfriend College of Business and Professional Studies Announced

Old College on a bright dayOver the past decade, the academic landscape at Tennessee Wesleyan University has expanded dramatically. With the addition of numerous graduate and undergraduate academic programs, the University will soon be expanding the academic leadership to streamline the academic enterprise. The new structure will result in three distinct colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Professional Studies, and the College of Health Sciences. Each College will have a dean that will focus on academic growth, marketing and recruitment efforts, and donor relations.

“The change in structure from multiple schools and divisions into three academic colleges will simultaneously streamline the University’s academic enterprise and expand the academic leadership.,” said Dr. Grant Willhite, TWU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs. “This change will allow for the appointment of Deans for each of the three colleges, enhancing the student experience, increasing faculty support, growing academic offerings within each college, and ultimately providing a more comprehensive approach to academic planning and administration.”

Additionally, the change to a three academic college structure will include the renaming of one existing academic unit, following unanimous approval from the Board of Trustees during their meeting last Friday.

Bobby and Wendy Goodfriend
Bobby and Wendy Goodfriend

“In appreciation for the gift by Dr. Robert and Wendy Goodfriend in 2016 and subsequent gifts supporting the Goodfriend School of Business and other initiatives across the campus, the Goodfriend School of Business will become the Goodfriend College of Business and Professional Studies,” according to Dr. Tyler Forrest, Tennessee Wesleyan University President. “Their support has propelled the Goodfriend School of Business to new heights and significantly enhanced both its academic profile and student experience.”

The dean for each College has been named by the University and includes faculty members that have served the University and students for many years.

Dr. Augustin Bocco, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies as well as Director of International Student Services, has been named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bocco arrived at Tennessee Wesleyan in 2012 and has proven to be an effective leader in and out of the classroom.

Dr. Stacy Swafford, Associate Professor and Director of Business Graduate Programs, will assume the Dean role in the Goodfriend College of Business and Professional Studies. Dr. Swafford began her tenure at TWU in 2009, serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative, and has been very involved in the expansion of the graduate programs offered in the School of Business.

Dr. Lisa Vesser, Associate Professor and current Associate Dean for Allied Health will be the Dean of the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Vesser has been with Tennessee Wesleyan since 2003 and worked closely with the TWU Fort Sanders Nursing Department, and assumed leadership roles with the Master of Occupational Therapy program and Wilhelm Dental Hygiene program as they were launched by TWU.

Work will begin immediately to move toward the new academic structure as well as identifying naming opportunities for the remaining colleges.