Xavier’s Social Science College Loses Social Science in Name

Paul Gore
Paul Gore is dean of Xavier University’s newly named College of Professional Sciences

Xavier University, a venerable Jesuit university in Cincinnati, Ohio serving more than 6,500 students, has renamed its existing College of Social Sciences, Health and Education as the College of Professional Sciences. The change took effect earlier this week; Paul Gore, a counseling psychologist who came to Xavier in July from the University of Utah, will continue his role as dean of the ‘new’ school.

The college includes a number of disparate undergrad and graduate programs, such as athletic training, criminal justice, education, health services administration, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, radiologic technology, social work, sport management and sport marketing for undergrads. Its graduate programs include criminal justice, counseling, education, health services administration, human resource development, leadership studies, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology and sport administration.

In a release announcing the change, Gore focused on the synergies of the various programs in population health and community engagement. “By focusing on the health of an entire population, proponents of population health embrace a holistic perspective of the people who make up society, consistent with the Jesuit value of care for the person,” he was quoted.

While removing the words ‘social science’ from a school’s name is not common, there are several instances of colleges adopting the term ‘professional sciences,’ such as South Carolina State University’s College of Business and Applied Professional Sciences in the United States or Maharaja Ranjit Singh College of Professional Sciences in India’s Madhya Pradesh state. But the South Carolina university also hosts a College of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, while the Indian school focuses on more science and technical pursuits.

There have also been ‘professional science’ master’s degrees offered since the mid-1990s and now available from almost 350 programs at more than 150 institutions. But those programs, originally started courtesy of push by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance the career prospects of scientists who expected to work in industry, not academe, almost solely serve STM.

That applied focus is shared by the college at Xavier, as the university’s provost and chief academic officer, Scott Chadwick, explained in describing Dean Gore: “Through his leadership I am confident that our faculty will partner with corporations and non-profit organizations to create exceptional academic programs.

Before coming to Xavier, Gore was the training director for graduate programs in clinical mental health and school counseling in the faculty of the Department of Educational Psychology at Utah, where he had been since 2006. Prior to that, Gore had directed the Career Transitions Research Department at ACT, Inc. and taught at Southern Illinois University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He earned a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago and a bachelor of science from St. Louis University, both Jesuit institutions.

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