Expansion Focus Must Be Academic

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Published: May 2, 2012

Walking through the Outdoor Plaza can serve as a swift reminder of the structural changes the administration at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) have been making to our campus. But something that hasn’t been as visible is the development of a new major at FCLC. The neuroscience major, under the natural science department, has been in the works since 2004 and was approved in 2011, as reported in Richard Ramsundar’s article, “New Neuroscience Major Added to Curriculum” on page one.

What is interesting about this news is that it was seldom advertised to the public, while the expansion of dorm space and law school facilities has been widely discussed and publicized. What does this say about Fordham’s intentions for the future of FCLC’s studies and our reputation?

What it seems to be showing is an emphasis on the physical aspects of our college experience rather than the actual intellectual programs that teach us. FCLC is by no means an institution that has to pour all of its resources and time into enhancing our academic reputation. But while we may enjoy a comfortable standing among universities nationwide, this does not mean that aspects of our university cannot be improved upon, should be forgotten or even overlooked.

We hope that the administration will be in tune with the academic needs of FCLC as an institution of higher education. What is important right now in creating Fordham’s legacy is not the expansion of facilities, but the enhancement of fields of study and the enrichment of the facilities we have now. Right now, it is clear that the Gabelli School of Business will be expanding to the Lincoln Center campus. For FCLC, one clear outcome of this would be an increased student population.

But what good is an increased student population without the opportunity for students to pursue whatever degree they feel most passionate about? Creating new majors, not constructing new buildings, can help provide students with even more focused areas of study.  More buildings will make FCLC more impressive in the physical sense, but unless these new buildings are used to enhance our school’s (not just the business school’s) educational opportunities, they fall short of making FCLC a better school.

We hope that the recent trailblazing in the natural science department will prompt the administration to focus on the development of our current academic services and facilities.