To: St. Olaf College Faculty
Re: Physical Education Department name change
At the May 2007 faculty meeting CEPC will move the approval of a department name change.
Proposal: The Department of Physical Education will be changed to the Department of Exercise Science.
Comment on the motion: To avoid confusion with Environmental Studies courses, physical education activity courses will be relabeled ESAC and physical education theory courses will be relabeled ESTH.
Prior to the staff plan in 1998, the Physical Education (PE) Department offered two majors, physical education and sport science. In 1998, the physical education major was dropped, the sport science major was redesigned to become the current exercise science major, and the department became part of the Social Science faculty. In 2004, the SPM (Studies in Human Movement) courses were approved as part of the general education requirements for the student body.
It is now time to rename the department to better reflect who the faculty are and what they do. Because PE no longer offers the physical education teaching major, it makes the most sense to become the Exercise Science Department. This will also help prospective students avoid the common misconception that the department offers a physical education teaching degree.
The PE Department is currently undergoing a program review. The review process revealed that departments at other institutions do not call themselves a physical education department unless they offer that major. More common names for non-teaching majors within the discipline are exercise science and kinesiology.