Introducing the School of Education, Social Sciences, and The Arts

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016

    School of Education Social Sciences and the Arts

    Editor's note: Dr. Ray J. Davis offers thoughts on a change in the name of the academic unit at UMES he has guided since becoming its administrator in 2012.

    Dr. Ray J. DavisPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (July 1, 2016) - The School of The Arts and Professions (SAP) has evolved over the past 20 years.  It was not until 1996 that its name appeared in UMES' undergraduate course catalog, and was comprised of the following departments: 

    • Education
    • English and Modern Languages
    • Fine Arts
    • Mathematics and Computer Sciences
    • Physical Education
    • Social Sciences  

    Also included was the Department of Physical Therapy.

    The previous catalog (1992-1996) treated a School of Arts and Sciences separately from a School of Professional Studies. There was no mention of a dean for the School of Arts and Professions, but rather a list of department chairs.

    In January 1997, then-UMES President Dolores R. Spikes ushered in a new era when she appointed Dr. Brenda Anderson (now Dr. Brenda Wade) as the school's first dean.

    In the ensuing years, university leaders fine-tuned the structure of academic units - driven in part by decisions to form a graduate school as well as a School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, where physical therapy now resides.

    I was fortunate in 2012 to return to my alma mater to become the sixth leader of The School of Arts and Professions, by then comprised of the departments of criminal justice, education, English and modern languages, fine arts and social sciences.

    As part of the university's strategic goal to restructure, SAP was charged with submitting names to UMES' senior administration that better reflects the programs housed in this academic unit

    Faculty representatives from the five SAP departments formed a committee chaired by Dr. Lily Tsai to tackle the task of presenting names for consideration to me, their faculty colleagues and staff at a school-wide meeting - and ultimately to the university's administration.

    Three names eventually were selected and submitted to senior administration, each listing “Education” as the lead program in a new name. 

    Effective today, “SAP” gives way to the School of Education, Social Sciences, and The Arts. We'll be calling it “SESA” for short. 

    In addition to acknowledging the nationally accredited Department of Education's heritage as a legacy academic program dating to the institution's early years, this new name also more clearly recognizes and reflects the school's five departments and programs.