Board approves Arizona branch campus, occupational therapy program

By Jared Huhta

The board of trustees unanimously approved the university’s plans for a satellite campus in Peoria, Ariz. and the university’s first graduate-level occupational therapy program today. The vote for the program was April 25, and the Peoria vote came before the board voted in Sherilyn R. Emberton, Ed. D., as the 13th president of the institution April 26.

Emberton praised the Peoria, Ariz. plan at the press conference announcing her as president. (Photo by Laura Good)

The university already submitted a proposal to the city of Peoria, consisting of potential programs, location and funding. The Peoria City Council will announce their decision May 7. No further action can be taken until then.

Emberton said she is “very excited” about the Peoria campus.

“I think it’s a great opportunity not only to advance programs but also to advance our faith in that area of the country,” she said.

A projected timeline and estimates for the satellite campus were revealed at a faculty meeting April 17. The university plans to have 225 full-time students for the 2014-15 school year and expand to 1,100 full-time students by the 2017-18 school year at the satellite campus. The project would need approximately $2.5 million for the first and second years to cover salaries, lease expenses, academic equipment, marketing and program budgets.

A building leased by Trine University has been designated as a possibility for Huntington to sub-lease until an expansion building is located. At least one site, located at Thunderbird and Highway 101, has been identified for further expansion. It contains 17,000 square feet of classroom and office space that is immediately available, according to the document presented at the faculty meeting.

The full story on the Peoria campus’ projections can be found here.

The occupational therapy program will be the university’s first doctorate program and could launch in the fall of 2014. The programs will be within the new Life Science Education and Research Consortium of Northeast Indiana at the Parkview Randallia campus in Fort Wayne.

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