Provost Michelle Mattson recently announced that several campus offices will be moving into new spaces before the start of the fall semester.
Two student-support services, the Math Workshop and Writing Center, have already moved to the first floor of Thomas Library, allowing for easier student access and more inter-campus collaboration.
“We are not undertaking any major or costly renovations for this move, but it will centralize some key student academic support services in the library,” said Mattson, also a professor of German. “Such a move is in line with what many other schools are doing, creating a ‘learning commons’ on campus so that students can better navigate the resources available to them. Our move will allow the Math Workshop and Writing Center to combine training and professional development opportunities for tutors, and allow more interaction with both COMPASS staff and librarians. With this re-combining, we look to increase student use of both services.”
Historically, this move also represents a return to form for these two resources, as they first combined in 1980 in the basement of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
The nursing program will move into the space currently occupied by the Math Workshop, room 370 of the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, consolidating the nursing facilities and the faculty under one roof. The Office of Student Development, including the Dean’s Office, Residence Life, Title IX, Student Conduct, and Housing, will be moving to the suite of offices in room 101 of the Shouvlin Center.
Mattson also said that Wittenberg is planning additional moves near the end of the fall semester.
“We hope to move Upward Bound into the former Writing Center space in Hollenbeck Hall and out of Blair Hall,” she said. “Doing so would allow us to move the Psychology Department into Blair Hall. These moves are not likely to happen until the end of fall semester in order to give everyone enough time to prepare.”
In addition, Provost Mattson announced the establishment of the Wittenberg Institute for Public Humanities and Sciences (WIPHS) focusing on a combination of experiential learning and community engagement. The Susan Hirt Hagen Center is actively engaged in Springfield community-based projects and will continue to expand those relationships, while the focus of the WIPHS will be to develop programming and grant funding to directly align with public-facing work in academia.
“The importance and growth of public humanities and sciences has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s,” Mattson said. “There are departments--such as philosophy, environmental science, history, and sociology -- already actively engaging public-facing work. However, there is nothing to unite, support, or move this work forward in a way that benefits and challenges our students, faculty, or University. And therefore, Dr. Nancy McHugh, whose work in public philosophy is deep and extensive, will serve as the inaugural director of the institute and begin seeking external funding. Our hope is to open the WIPHS in the Dietrich House. I am very excited about this ambitious endeavor, and I am grateful to Dr. McHugh for being willing to take on what would for many be the daunting task of starting a new initiative at Wittenberg in a time of great challenge.”