Honors college option for growth


Nicole Zukowski, Assistant News Editor

Ever since President Patrick Leahy’s arrival last year, he has tried to improve the university with certain ideas to innovate Wilkes. One of these ideas is the create of an honors college.

Wilkes University is made up of seven different colleges: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and Nursing, the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership, The School of Education, The School of Graduate and Professional Education and University College.

The only college missing is an Honors College, so it is a logical progression in the future of Wilkes University to create one. President Leahy recognized this and brought it to the faculty’s attention.

Interim Provost Dr. Wignot said, “President Leahy asked the faculty to look into the development of an Honors College. So last spring a committee of faculty from each of the colleges formed and commenced as an honors task force to discuss the possible of an honors college.”

This honors task force developed a proposal made up of research from different honor colleges across the nation. They looked at what characteristics would work and what would not at Wilkes.

In order to pass the proposal and progress to actual construction of the college, many steps are involved.

“At all steps, there are further input, further discussion and possible further modification to the original proposal,” Wignot said.

The first step was getting feedback from faculty in August at a faculty retreat. Then each of the colleges could discuss for feedback. That is about where the proposal is at right now.

Wignot said, “The proposal is probably not even at the mid-point of the process. There is still a lot of discussion.”

The rest of the process is mostly made up of close conversation from different committees such at The Academic Planning Committee and The Curriculum Committee.

At each step of the process there are revised amendments to the original proposal. There is no time line as of when an honors college will be open at Wilkes since the proposal is still in the modification process.

If the proposal is passed and an honors college is constructed, Wilkes will then have an edge on other small liberal arts universities in the nation.

“The effect, hopefully, on enrollment from an honors college is that it will attract some students that may not be looking into Wilkes or have not looked at Wilkes before because we have not had an honors college and they were interested in being part of one,” Wignot said.