BOV Provost Report: Masters programs discussed

During the provost’s report, the Board of Visitors discussed the future of the College of William and Mary’s master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as the Mason School of Business’s Design Studio.

“The William and Mary Promise and the Six-Year Plan are all a means to an end,” College Provost Michael Halleran said. “That end is to be the best university in the universe.”

The College first became designated as a university in 1779, when Thomas Jefferson established the Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Virginia Torczon said she believes the College’s arts and sciences post-graduate programs are lesser known than its law and business programs. Today, the College has 177 master’s students and 315 Ph.D. candidates in a total of 11 different arts and sciences post-graduate programs.

“A lot of universities think that we are just an undergraduate institution, so we have to do a lot of education within our field to make sure people are aware of our master’s and doctoral programs,” Torczon said.

Halleran said that, over the past four years, the College has added $1.7 million to graduate programs.

The College offers master’s programs in arts and sciences such as American Studies, anthropology, applied science, biology, chemistry, computational operations research, computer science, history, physics and public policy. Doctoral programs are in anthropology, applied science, computer science, history and physics.

The College’s largest arts and sciences post-graduate programs are in computer science, history and physics.

According to Torczon, the College’s arts and sciences graduate programs are crucial to its ability to remain a research university.

“Graduate students are an important part of what makes us a research university,” Torczon said. “Our doctoral students and their work is what makes us a top research institution.”

She added that students who end up publishing their research are also representing the College.

“In effect, [graduate students who present their research] are expanding the research affect of the faculty by presenting their research nationally and internationally,” Torczon said.

The committee also discussed the future of the Business School’s Design Studio.

Assistant Professor of Marketing Michael Luchs presented information on the Sustainability Inspired Design program to the committee. The part-business, part-environmental-public-policy course aims to teach business students about incorporating sustainable design into their business models.

The program teaches functional knowledge and convergent thinking as well as analytical and communication skills.


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