A rapidly growing enrollment has strained the science program at Western Oregon University. Housed in the Natural Sciences Building, which opened in 1969, current facilities are aged and stretched to capacity. As a result, core infrastructure is extended to all feasible limits while faculty and staff offices, student work spaces, research areas and computer labs are 100 percent occupied.
In response, university leadership identified a "new science facility" as one of the most urgent capital projects in the new 2011-20 Master Plan. Acknowledging the importance of science education for Oregon's future, Governor Kitzhaber has stated that transforming post-secondary education must include, "Investing in a pattern of degrees and certificates that connects directly to high demand Oregon jobs and the employer-certified skills related to them." Further, the governor's balanced budget states, "…campuses are expected to prioritize undergraduate and graduate programs directly related to state workforces goals such as healthcare, engineering, and teacher education."
Students and their parents expect and demand a 21st century education. As a result, our science curriculum must prepare our students for careers and advance graduate study in fields such as nursing, medicine, science education, criminal justice (forensic science), and natural resource management. Such preparation is dependent upon modern laboratories and classroom facilities that allow students to engage current technology and analytical techniques.
"The new science center will enable the biology and chemistry departments to teach undergraduate students – both majors and non-majors – in modern facilities that incorporate the latest instructional technologies in laboratory science. The new facility will have enhanced space and energy utilization efficiencies and improved laboratory safety."
Stephen Scheck, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University Advancement 503-838-8349 | or e-mail: email@example.com
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