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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved a merger at IUPUI  that will create a School of Health and Human Sciences.

Officials say the merger between the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Services will strengthen the role the university plays in supporting the health of Hoosiers.

“This restructuring enhances the current strengths of both schools while also creating new opportunities to cultivate excellence in research, student learning and student support services,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “By reducing competition and producing stronger, aligned undergraduate programs, we are providing a solid foundation for future careers in the health professions as well as emerging careers related to health and wellness.”

McRobbie noted that priorities for new degrees suggest that tighter connections among programs such as kinesiology, health sciences, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies and physical therapy offer great benefit to future students.

The new school fits into IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, which calls for continued work in pursuing new programs and, where necessary, realigning existing programs in order to leverage the university’s strengths.

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI traces its origin to 1941 with the initial creation of allied health sciences degrees through the IU School of Medicine.

The original programming at the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management in Indianapolis dates back to 1866, making it the oldest academic unit at IUPUI and the oldest existing school in the country for preparing physical education teachers.