The Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba officially closed its doors on July 1st, 2015.
The President of the University of Manitoba, Dr. David Barnard, has sent out a memo to all of the University’s employees on January 2012 about his intent to reduce the Institution’s number of Faculties from 20 to the national average of 13 by the year 2017. The first area of focus was the Health Sciences cluster which included the Faculty of Human Ecology.
Human Ecology faculty and staff members were asked to choose their preferred option of restructuring by the end of September 2012. By January 2013, admissions to the undergraduate Textile Sciences program and the General Human Ecology program were suspended.
Come July 1st 2014, the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences officially merged with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences which was later joined by the Department of Textile Sciences on July 1st 2015 that merged with the Department of Bio-systems Engineering. The Department of Family Social Sciences, together with the Interdisciplinary Health Program, merged with the Department of Community Health Sciences in the new Faculty of Health Sciences, also on July 1st 2015.
105 Years’ Worth of Changes
With the dissolution of the Faculty, let’s not forget that it, itself, is founded through changes. With the mounting pressure to give women proper education just like men, the first group of girls in the year 1910 began their studies in Household Science under the Division of Home Economics in the Manitoba Agricultural College. By 1915, a 16-month long Bachelor in Home Economics (B.H.Ec.) degree course was established which eventually became Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1922 to recognize the science and professionalism that was taught to the students of the program.
In 1943, the Division of Home Economics was raised to the status of a School within the Faculty of Agriculture and Home Economics. The School eventually separated and became a stand-alone Faculty of Home Economics in 1970 and was renamed the Faculty of Human Ecology in 1981 to reflect the ever-changing needs of society.
And now, the Faculty has gone through another change: its closure and scattering of its departments and programs to other Faculties. Throughout all of these changes, however, one thing has remained constant: the Faculty’s unity and commitment in providing its students quality education that in turn, improved the lives of individuals, communities, and families throughout the world.
105 Years’ Worth of Celebration
A celebration for our Faculty is planned in the upcoming Homecoming Week at the University in the fall. To all of my fellow Human Ecology/Home Economics grads, join me in this magnificent celebration, reminisce with friends and family, and be proud to have been a part of a wonderful and unforgettable journey that took 105 years in the making!
Faculty Celebration: http://news.umanitoba.ca/hats-off-to-human-ecology/
Written by Anthony Ngayan, a current IPHE program participant.