Rowan Holds Online Assembly Highlighting the 2020 Academic Cluster

The owl statue near Robinson Hall at Rowan's Glassboro Campus. - File Photo / Miguel Martinez

Rowan University President Ali Houshmand sat with other educational leaders in the community this past Friday, Oct. 16 to update the school on the latest news regarding the 2020 Academic Cluster and 2021 spring semester.

“The harmony of the university to the extent that I know has remained very intact, and that is something essential to everyone’s well-being and success this year. I am proud of our institution and the progress we have made together. We are very stable with where we are at currently,” Houshmand said.

The focus of the assembly meeting then shifted to Provost Anthony Lowman. He discussed the importance of forward-thinking, specifically in the Academic Affairs Cluster.

The Academic Affairs Cluster, which is divided into many subcommittees, works to implement the Education of the Future task force’s recommendations for the school while collaborating with the Workforce of the Future committee.

Collectively, each force acts as a team in situating Rowan as an agile institution prepared for the shifting landscape of higher education.

An example of one of the various subcommittees Lowman highlighted is Workforce Related Certificates, aimed to provide a range of certificates to the university. This includes options such as professional certificates leading to state, national, or professional licensure, industry-driven certificates, and general knowledge certificates.

Other subcommittees mentioned included a partnership with the educational organization UDACITY and the University Revitalization Program Committee-of-the-Whole.

“The University Revitalization Program Committee will undertake a systematic review of all existing degree-granting programs using a series of metrics, including academic trends, cost analysis, and cost to benefit. This review process is anticipated to begin spring-summer 2021,” Lowman said.

The topics of diversity and inclusion were mentioned as the meeting progressed. Scholarship opportunities were announced to increase enrollment and graduation rates for underrepresented students.

Following several questions from students regarding the spring semester, Lowman took the stage once more to carefully express that Rowan “will start bringing back students at the normal time but will delay the start of classes by four academic days to the following Monday.”

“The first week will be totally remote to let the campus and the population stabilize while during week two, we will be bringing back classes that have a physical presence required, such as labs and studios,” Lowman said. “Weeks three and four, we will follow where we are and bring back all other classes that we are intending to bring back in a face-to-face environment; however, the number of face-to-face classes may be similar to the numbers we have this semester.”

Lowman also stated that spring break will not occur next semester.

As Rowan continues to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, staying safe and continuing to grow students’ academic opportunities remains the top priority.

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