The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Students and faculty react: four colleges restructured into six

“[The changes will] highlight our signature strengths and elevate our humanities, social sciences, and science disciplines.”
Eri O’Brien

Among the changes students were informed about in a September 29 email from the Office of President Lynn Perry Wooten, Simmons’ four colleges will be restructured into six: Nursing, Social Work, Library and Information Science, Management, Gwen Ifill School of Media, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and Science and Health Professions. 

“[The changes will] highlight our signature strengths and elevate our humanities, social sciences, and science disciplines,” detailed Wooten’s email.  

“Faculty in general, along with the Faculty Senate, overwhelmingly approved the changes,” said Provost Russ Pinizzoto in an interview with the Voice. “Students seem to have positive feedback for the most part too. We have continued to accept and consider feedback from students, especially in programs that were hit the hardest.”

Pinizzoto added that students will continue receiving information as it comes in, including revisions to the general education curriculum. It was emphasized that any changes made are meant to make requirements easier, not harder, for students. 

Previous coverage by the Voice and communication from the university indicated that Simmons would be moving from four to two colleges. 

Pinizzoto said that the two-college structure is purely transitory and that the move to six will happen as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the university is seeking deans for the schools of Management and Social Work, along with the Ifill School. 

However, only some students are giving the university positive feedback regarding the changes. 

First-year Noel Tanner was majoring in environmental science and music, with a French minor. 

Tanner has decided to transfer following changes in each program she was involved in; environmental studies is being shifted to a biology track, and music and French are both being sunsetted. She explored classes within the Colleges of the Fenway and enjoyed her science curriculum, but felt “devalued” as an art student.

“It really angers me that Simmons is still branding themselves as a liberal arts school when they’re cutting funding and professors are continuing to leave,” said Tanner. “[the shifts] resulted in everything getting clumped into one humanities major that don’t really don’t have anything to do with each other.”

Interim Dean of the Ifill College, Diane Grossman, said hard work has gone into the redesign while being mindful of financial challenges. She emphasized the excitement that leaders at Simmons have about the collaboration across each field, and that “six colleges will give our strongest programs their due.”

Grossman predicted that Ifill will continue prospering, saying “employers really value humanities skills…we’re remaining committed to Gwen Ifill’s legacy with a vow to social justice, inclusion, and equity…the curriculum can open up conversations and really connect people.”

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About the Contributors
Abigail Meyers, Social Media Editor
Abigail Meyers (2026, she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Social Media. She has been writing for the Voice since fall of her freshman year and is elated to be joining the editorial team! When she's not in the newsroom, you can find her exploring the city, working out, obsessing over Taylor Swift, or baking something she saw on TikTok.
Eri O’Brien, Visuals Editor
Eri O’Brien (2024, she/her) is majoring in Studio Art and Communications on the Integrated Media track. She loves taking photos, writing, and going on walks with her dog Jeffrey.

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