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Announcing George Wythe University
August 14 - At a meeting held August 6, 2008 in Cedar City, Utah, the George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to transition George Wythe College to George Wythe University.
For many years now, George Wythe College has been pursuing a course of steady, sustainable growth with a careful eye to maintaining the core vision of leadership education intact. Policies and decisions to guide that growth have been informed by a plan formulated in the late 1990’s and published internally in 2006 under the title, “The Proposal for George Wythe University.” In that document, a model of multiple colleges of 150 students or less, each with its own president and faculty, would all be supported under the administration of a university president, with the unifying leadership of an academic chancellor overseeing the colleges.
In early 2008, George Wythe College applied to and met the requirements set forth by the State of Utah and was issued the name “George Wythe University” to be used at the board’s discretion. We are pleased to announce at this time the appointment of Shanon D. Brooks as President of George Wythe University. He will be chief administrator and oversee growth and development. The Chancellor of George Wythe University, responsible for fulfillment of the academic programs and college leadership, will be Oliver DeMille. Dr. DeMille will continue in his role as Director of Graduate Studies.
This change reflects the growing nature of the institution and administrative infrastructure necessary to serve the needs called for by its mission and multiple campuses. No changes have been made to the curriculum or methodology. In reality, by offering graduate degrees, George Wythe has operated on a university model for quite some time. The United States government defines college as1:
“an institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate programs, usually of a four-year duration, that lead to the bachelor's degree in the arts or sciences (B.A. or B.S.). The term ‘college’ is also used in a general sense to refer to a postsecondary institution. A college may also be a part of the organizational structure of a university.”
University is defined as:
“an educational institution that usually maintains one or more four-year undergraduate colleges (or schools) with programs leading to a bachelor's degree, [and] a graduate school of arts and sciences awarding master's degrees and doctorates (Ph.D.s)….”
Harvard University compares the words “college” to “university”, using their own institutions as an example2:
“Harvard College is a part of Harvard University focusing on educating undergraduates. It is part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and offers programs in the liberal arts.
“Harvard University refers to the entire educational institution, including the undergraduate college, the graduate and professional schools, research centers, administration, and affiliates.”
Some of today’s Liberal Arts colleges eschew university status due to the research nature of the modern university. They prefer to be characterized by their focus on scholarly study of the Liberal Arts. While George Wythe College has a demonstrated commitment to excellence in Liberal Arts education, George Wythe University aspires to add to this, its cutting edge research and real-world application in leadership. Our research consists of models and application of good government worldwide, e.g. our work in Uganda3. Research dedicated to good government is most definitely worthy of a university.
While this change may come as unexpected for some, this transition has been in the works for the last two years. The George Wythe Foundation document “The Proposal for George Wythe University” will be published in its entirety by way of monthly installments4 over the course of the several months in The Statesman. Various aspects of the transition will take place over the next six months. We invite you to stay tuned!
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