University Honors Program Committee
Special Report to Faculty Senate
May 4, 1999
In November of 1997, the University Honors Program Committee distributed a concept paper, "The Honors College of Millersville University: A Center for the Liberal Arts, PreGraduate and Pre-Professional Training." According to that paper,
The difference between a College and a Program is one of scale and commitment rather than structure. The existence of an Honors College is a clear signal that substantial resources have been dedicated to the cultivation of academic excellence within the university. In addition, an Honors College incorporates a level of curricular and programmatic flexibility that allows it to serve as a crucible for curricular and pedagogical experimentation for the whole university, while meeting the challenging needs posed by honors students. An Honors College will guarantee a critical mass of highly motivated students whose presence will raise the intellectual and cultural atmosphere of the campus, thus enhancing the academic experiences of the entire student body. It will also provide a recruiting advantage, enabling the University to attract more highly talented students, thereby raising the academic level of the University.
In March of 1999, Dr. William Mech visited Millersville as a consultant for the University Honors Program. We expect to receive his report this month. Based on his remarks at an exit briefing with the committee and members of the administration, we anticipate that he will recommend that Millersville make the transition from Honors Program to Honors College. During his visit he mentioned that if we are to make this transition, the window of opportunity for doing so is relatively small for the following reasons: 1) competition (especially from SSHE schools and others in the region); 2) potential donors to attract new money to the university; 3 3) maturity of the existing program; and 4) disturbing university-wide enrollment trends.
The University Honors Program Committee seeks to involve all faculty in discussion of the issues involved in making the transition to an Honors College. Early in the fall semester we will be holding a series of meetings where a variety of topics can be discussed. Please encourage your colleagues to attend these meetings and share their views.