News Ticker

Boise State’s College of SSPA to disband

Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

The College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs never truly had a place to call home. Now it’s being forced from the Boise State family.

“There will no longer be a College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs,” said Shelton Woods, interim dean for the College of SSPA. “That college is going away.”

Work to dissolve Boise State’s College of SSPA began late last semester when the School of Public Service was proposed.

The new school will adopt the departments that reflect public service: community and regional planning, criminal justice, public policy and administration, military science and political science. This leaves the remaining misfit public affairs and social Sciences departments to be picked up by other

On July 1 the School of Social Work left SSPA to join the College of Health Sciences. The remaining five departments under SSPA will go to the College of Arts and Sciences.

According to the interim associate dean for the School of Public Service, Andrew Giacomazzi, the new school will act like a college but answer to the provost.

“[The school] is really meant to function as a standalone unit that’s dedicated to public policy in Idaho and beyond,” Giacomazzi said.

The School of Public Service was approved by the State Board of Education on August 5.

“The goal is that we will have implemented this new school starting July 1 of 2015,” Giacomazzi said. “The [College of SSPA] will stay in place until the transition is completely finished.”

The transition is expected to take a year.  The 2014-2015 academic year will be the last for the College of SSPA.

“May 2015 will be the final graduation that the College of SSPA will be giving out diplomas,” Woods said.

So far students enrolled in majors under the College of SSPA will not be affected.

“It’ll affect the catalog for the 2015 and 2016 academic year,” Giacomazzi said. “The important thing to keep in mind for students is that no departments are changing their academic requirements because of this structural change at Boise State. Student may at first barely notice that there is anything different.”

According to Giacomazzi students may first see and recognize the change when finding their department under a different college in the new catalog.

“I don’t think it’ll affect students in any kind of negative way at all,” Giacomazzi said. “Departments are still pretty autonomous in what they do in terms of what they do for curriculum for students.”

The five departments under the School of Public Service will have opportunities the College of SSPA previously lacked.

“This whole idea of this school is to focus on public policy and public service,” Giacomazzi said. “There will be additional opportunities for students to engage in policy work, whether that is internships, field work, independent studies with professors. That is what I think is the positive thing over time.”

About Eryn Shay Johnson (0 Articles)
Eryn Shay Johnson is the Assistant News Editor at the Arbiter. She currently studies communication at Boise State University. Johnson has a history in producing media content; she has produced content for The Post Register of Idaho Falls and The Times-News in Twin Falls. Her article “Good for the Soul: Group uses laughter as path to better health” was picked up by the Associated Press in July 2011. When she isn’t writing or studying Johnson spends time with her boyfriend, dog, and cat in their south Boise home.