Valdosta State students will soon enjoy the benefits of the newly approved Strategic Focus proposals that became official at the April 15 Planning and Budget Council meeting.
Each year, the council, headed by the Provost and made up of VSU faculty, meets to vote on the funding for Strategic Focus proposals and also the renewal of funding for previously introduced proposals.
Last Friday, the committee voted to approve nine proposals, went on to reject five others and renewed 18 more.
One of the most significant additions this year will be the initiation of a new interdisciplinary major in forensic science, which is only offered in one other school in Georgia.
Interest in the area of forensic science has recently been on the rise among students, partly because of all the hype over forensics-related television shows like CSI or Law and Order.
“This is a program that has never been offered here before,” Dr. David Ross, department head of the sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice department, said. “The forensics field is big and we are proud to be able to offer the program.”
Other proposed university improvements were not as fortunate when it came to approval at last week’s meeting.
Among other rejected proposals, the council decided against the hiring of a grants specialist for the College of Arts and Sciences, proposed by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Connie Richards.
“I may propose it again next year,” Richards said. “The College of Arts and Science could greatly increase its grant production by employing a grants program specialist.”
The council also approved a new professional science masters in chemistry, a plant operations skilled internship program and a new form of student recruitment that will utilize Facebook.
The university is predicted to spend $333,103 this year and $2,665,282 in the next five years on the newly approved proposals.