Earlier this week, The Journal learned that the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies is requesting a suspension of admissions into the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) program beginning in September 2017.
The School informed the Arts and Science Faculty Board of the proposal last Friday. The Faculty Board is the governing body of the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Dr. Jean Côté, director of SKHS, sent an email to students and alumni on Sept. 16 to inform them that the School has requested a temporary suspension of admissions to the program.
In the email, he also wrote that he envisions an eventual merging of the Physical Health and Education (PHE) and Kinesiology (KIN) programs in the near future, as enrolment in Kinesiology has grown to almost double that of Physical Health and Education in the last year.
“This decision is not one that we have taken lightly,” he wrote.
Côté sent students a second email one day later to assure students in PHE program that the announcement will have no effect on their ability to graduate.
However, Lindsay Toth, President of the Physical and Health Education and Kinesiology Student Association (PHEKSA), told The Journal that the original email was “misleading” as no decisions have yet to be made.
“The SKHS proposed this change at Faculty Board on Friday, Sept. 25th. It has yet to be passed at Faculty Board or approved by Dr. Susan Mumm, the Dean of Arts and Science,” Toth wrote in an email statement.
She added that there has been “some confusion” about the status of the motion to suspend admissions to the program, but that the process is “now transparent”.
“Decisions about the future of the PHE program have not been made to date. Rather, this will be a long and thorough process,” she stated.
When asked for comment, Dr. Côté said he will only be available for comment after he sends out another email to students next week.
Côté has also arranged a meeting with The Journal to discuss the contents of the email once it has been sent out, as he is currently out of the country.
ASUS President Brandon Jamieson said he found out about the announcement one day before the vote came to the Arts and Science Faculty Board.
Jamieson was present at the meeting last Friday when the motion was brought to the table.
He told The Journal that faculty members from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies voted unanimously to suspend admissions during their annual May faculty retreat.
“Student leaders were not informed that this was happening, but what is important to remember that as student leaders we cannot work collaboratively with the university administration if we do not know what is going on with administration,” he said.
Jamieson also said he has met with Susan Mumm, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, to discuss the proposal however he didn’t disclose any information about what occurred at the meeting.
“As students, we welcome this investigation … I don’t think we should have any program at Queen’s that we wholeheartedly do not support or believe in,” Jamieson added.
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