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USM Finds Creative Solution To Continue Recreation & Leisure Studies

A collaborative faculty and staff process, prompted by the proposed elimination of USM’s recreation and leisure studies program, has led to a proposal to develop a coherent, multidisciplinary set of programs responsive to the health and wellness needs of Maine citizens.

Therapeutic recreation and community recreation, the two degree studies offered under recreation and leisure studies, now will continue and will report on an interim basis to Director of the USM School of Nursing Krista Meinersmann.

“This shows that process drives engagement and can lead to great results,” said USM President Theo Kalikow. “Thanks to the willingness of folks to sit down and engage in constructive discussions we’ll now develop ways to integrate therapeutic and community recreation with complementary disciplines. This will sustain enrollments over the long term and better serve students and the health care needs of Maine citizens.”  

Kalikow encouraged such discussions at a recent Faculty Senate meeting.  

“This plan makes sense when considering the aging of Maine’s population, and the anticipated growth of therapeutic and community recreation and related allied health fields,” said Provost Michael Stevenson. He added that such health and wellness programming also could advance USM’s role as a metropolitan university prepared to offer a quality education that boosts the region’s economy and quality of life.

Meinersmann will facilitate conversations leading to development of a comprehensive health and wellness proposal to be submitted to USM Dean of Science, Technology, and Health Andrew Anderson and to Stevenson by January of 2015.