The university plans to add a new doctorate program for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in exercise science.
Along with the new doctorate program, renovations on Bennett Infirmary will include spade for the Human Performance Lab.
The Board of Trustees announced these changes at their Nov. 14 meeting.
The performance lab will house the HPER, which is currently located in a small space in Flowers Hall. Undergraduate and graduate students alike use this space.
“This will accommodate not only current academic programs of the graduate and undergraduate levels but will greatly facilitate our PhD in the exercise science program, which hopefully will be launched in the fall of 2020,” said Ross Alexander, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Alexander said the new program will be a traditional research degree and is hands-on with students. The group proposal for the lab is planned to release March 2019.
Alexander said University Health Services will relocate to the Wilson Medical Park Arts building on a short-term lease. The health services will be on the first floor of this building.
“UNA’s HPER department is becoming more and more renowned, but if we are going to continue having a great reputation and build upon it, we need a good lab,” said junior exercise science student Holly Dunbar.
Dunbar said other universities are always doing groundbreaking research in the HPER department but are able to do so because they have space and the resources.
“That being said, I think having a PhD program is an incredible opportunity for us,” Dunbar said. “We are growing fast and our professors and peers are incredibly bright. I think the program will bring in more research and opportunities for the department and bring good press to UNA. The things we work on directly affect everyone in all walks of life. Health and exercise are things that can always be improved and will always be important. I can see the program going far with the HPER department.”