The different flags for each school are on display in the chapel. MANHATTAN.EDU/COURTESY
By Angelina Persaud, News Editor & Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor
Four of Manhattan College’s six schools will be merged under the Kakos School of Arts and Science, college officials announced Thursday.
Milo Riverso, president of Manhattan College, sent an email Thursday announcing that the School of Liberal Arts (SoLA), School of Health Professions (SoHP) and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) will be combined under the Kakos School of Arts and Science. The O’Malley School of Business and the School of Engineering will remain single-entity schools.
In his statement, Riverso described the move as the, “restructuring of our six schools into three to better position you to acquire career-ready skills while building on our supportive, high-quality academic experience provided by our distinguished faculty.”
Riverso added that the three remaining schools will focus on “top-tier” education focusing on primary majors in “the arts, the sciences, health, engineering or business.”
He emphasized his personal connection to the college as a key factor in merging the schools, noting that he saw it as an opportunity to transform MC as a learning institution.
“From my experiences as a Jasper, I know this is a place of positive transformation — it transforms knowledge, learning, and careers — and it will continue in this tradition as we move into the future,” Riverso stated. “I look forward to the opportunity this restructuring will bring for our entire community.”
Cory Blad, Ph.D., dean of the School of Liberal Arts, sent an email to SoLA students addressing concerns from students that their degree pathways would be affected by the new changes.
“We want to be clear that none of these changes will have any negative impact on your progress toward your degrees,” Blad stated in the email. “All students currently enrolled in any degree program at Manhattan College will be able to continue in that program and graduate as planned.”
Blad said that there will be no hindrance to current students’ degrees for the majors they are already enrolled in, saying, “We’re just moving to a bigger house.”
“Everyone at the College is dedicated to your education and in supporting you toward your goals,” Blad said.
Rani Roy, the college’s acting provost, said in a statement from the college that the merging of the four schools into one will “enhance” students’ academic experiences, “by concentrating interconnected areas of study within a given school.”
“This affords our students both depth and breadth of choices while preparing them for a world beyond Manhattan College that is filled with both challenges and opportunities,” Roy said.
The merging of the college’s four schools comes just a year after Aimee and Michael Kakos ‘58 donated $15 million to the School of Science.
“Manhattan College has been the educational love of my life,” Kakos told The Quadrangle last November. “It is our pleasure to give back to Manhattan College where I received my college education, and I consider it the most valuable thing that I own.”
He called the new Kakos School of Science his and his wife’s “legacy,” saying, “May all of its future students be inspired by the dedicated administration, faculty and staff which is the hallmark of this great institution.”
The Kakos family maintained their namesake to the school, but now sees classes merged with those of the arts, health and graduate studies.
The shift to merge the schools also comes just months after the School of Health Professions was established as a standalone school in March while the Division of Education was merged into SoLA.
According to a statement from the college last March, the renaming of SoHP came as part of MC’s plan to expand its program options in the healthcare field to include a wider range of majors from occupational therapy, pharmacology, a nursing program and many others.
With the new changes, it is unclear if these programs will still come to fruition. SoHP’s dean, Shelley Johnson, appointed in July 2023, left the college on Oct. 10.
Riverso said that “administrative changes” will continue through the spring of 2024 and be finalized over the following summer.