Lynchburg Establishes College of Medical Sciences, New Leadership Positions – University of Lynchburg

PA Medical Student Gains Practical Experience in 2019

Lynchburg University has a new college. In June, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alison Jablonski announced the creation of the College of Medical Sciences. The college will serve as an umbrella for PA’s University School of Medicine, which houses PA’s MD and MD programs.

Both were previously part of the College of Health Sciences, which will continue to include a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Public Health, Master of Athletic Training and a number of undergraduate programs, including the School of Nursing.

“I’m very excited about this change,” Jablonski said. “After reviewing our academic structure, I am confident that this will streamline our teaching efforts in these two popular programs and allow for growth.”

The new college will be led by Dean Dr. Jeremy Welsh and Associate Dean Dr. Jenna Rolfes. Welsh, who previously led the DMSc and PA Medicine programs, is also in charge of a new office. He will lead the Office of Academic Strategy as associate vice president and associate provost for academic strategy, effective July 1.

According to Jablonski, this position is “responsible and responsible for building consistent undergraduate and matriculation policies and practices focused on professional and graduate students.”

The newly created office will “serve as a center for academic excellence and innovation, potential academic revenue generation, and exploration and incubation of new academic programs, working in partnership with college deans and others,” Jablonski added.

Welsh, who heads the university’s innovation and collaboration pillar as chief innovation officer and also serves as chief academic officer for the Community Access Network, is excited about the changes and his new role.

Jeremy Welsh
Dr. Jeremy Welsh will lead the Lynchburg College of Medical Sciences.

“We are excited to build on the success of the PA Medicine and Doctor of Medical Science programs with the College of Medical Sciences — or COMS,” Welsh said. “The establishment of COMS will strengthen our current programs and create additional opportunities for growth.”

Welsh envisions new degree pathways that will “strengthen the region’s health care providers and health care system with an emphasis on quality leadership.”

The new college, he added, “will continue to work with community and regional partners to build solutions to health care disparities, access and affordability of care.”

The changes come as a result of the university’s new strategic plan, which challenged the Office of Academic Affairs to, among other things, “optimize the structure of academic units/colleges/departments.”

As part of that process, the university has been working with Credo consultants to examine its academic structure since Lynchburg became a university in 2018.

“It’s no easy task to transform a growing college into a university, and we took this opportunity to take stock after nearly four years as a university,” Jablonski said. “After reviewing admissions, financial aid and more, Credo has been incredibly helpful in determining exactly how we can be most effective academically.”

The new college and leadership position are part of a comprehensive list of recommendations that include streamlining the structure of academic affairs, combining graduate and undergraduate admissions and beginning a search for a new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The latter will help “deepen and strengthen the liberal arts,” according to Jablonski.

Academic affairs is dealing with these recommendations in three phases, with Phase 1 already underway. All changes should be in place by July 2023.

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