March 1, 2019

Assumption restructures, moves toward university status

Photo/Grant Welker
Assumption College is restructuring its academic departments and looking to change its name to a university.

Assumption College could become a university as part of a broader initiative to rework the organizational structure of the Worcester school to help it weather a challenging period for smaller colleges.

Assumption President Francesco Cesareo said in a message to alumni Thursday its board of trustees has approved the administration's request to rebrand as a university. Doing so would help Assumption's image in places like Europe, where it has a campus in Rome and where the word college more often refers to high school.

A reorganization of Assumption's academic departments, which trustees have approved, will bring cohesion to common disciplinary approaches, goals and learning experiences, Cesareo said.

The new name requires state Board of Higher Education approval. The name change to Assumption University would follow a step taken by Worcester State University and the state's other state schools, which changed from their longtime names as colleges in 2010.

The reorganization will arrange Assumption's majors into five separate schools: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Professions and the School of Graduate & Professional Studies.

The restructuring will not weaken Assumption's commitment to its Catholic mission or liberal arts leanings, Cesareo said.

"By establishing separate schools, the college will be able to leverage its strengths, more easily develop new course options and programs and allow for innovation," Cesareo said. "Such a structure will allow the college to better adapt to the changing landscape in higher education going forward."

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