1993 to 2015: San Diego State University
The last 20 years have witnessed continued changes in curriculum and increased scholarly efforts of the faculty. For example, in 1994-95 SDSU Exercise Physiology faculty provided physiological and biomedical testing for athletes at the ARCO Olympic Training Center, which opened in Chula Vista. This catalog year also saw approval of an M.S. degree in Exercise Physiology. Dance programs and faculty were transferred to the Department of Music (later the School of Music and Dance) where it was thought that collaborative efforts between these two disciplines would blossom, both in terms of curriculum and creative activity. To better reflect the merger, the department name was changed to the “Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences” (ENS) in 1995-96.
In July 1996 Dr. Stephen Weber became the seventh President of SDSU as a result of President Day’s retirement. His presidency was marked with a series of campus meetings to improve shared governance between administration and faculty and create a strong mission and vision of what SDSU wanted to accomplish.
A tragedy occurred on campus in August of 1996 when a graduate student in engineering killed three faculty members (Chen Liang, Constantinos Lyrintzis, and D. Preston Lowrey III). In 2003, L3 memorial Park was dedicated in their memory (pdf).
In 1996-97 a new specialization was offered in Pre-physical Therapy (pdf) to address the interest of students and the needs of the community for professionals in Physical Therapy. This specialization continued to grow and has become the largest in Exercise Science. It also has attracted very bright and committed students, which has played an important role in ENS having a great improvement in graduation rates.
In March of 1997 a Centennial Celebration of SDSU (pdf) was held on campus by the entire University community, including special events put on by the faculty, staff, and students of ENS.
Continued changes occurred in the 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 catalog years. The A.B. degree in Physical Education was phased out and replaced by a B.S. degree in Kinesiology with specializations in Athletic Training; Pre-physical Therapy; Fitness, Nutrition and Health; Movement Studies; and Physical Education. The following year Movement Studies was phased out. In 1999-2000 the term “Emphasis” replaced “Specialization” (pdf). To better reflect the merger a new graduate degree was offered, a three-year Concurrent Master of Science degrees in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences (pdf) which was approved in 2000-01.
The years 2001-02 were life-changing both for the Department and the United States. Rob Carlson resigned as Department Chair after 23 years to become Dean of Natural Sciences at CSU San Bernardino. Kathy LaMaster was named Interim Chair. On September 11, 2001, two hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, while a third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in a series of coordinated suicides by terrorists. One month later U.S. troops began combat operations in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks.
Additional changes took place to ameliorate the challenges of increasing numbers of students being interested in majors in ENS. In 2001-02 Kinesiology became impacted (pdf) and the following year Foods and Nutrition did the same (pdf). Impaction meant that students entered into the Department as pre-majors and had to achieve academic impaction criteria to achieve major status. The impaction criteria have been made more difficult in later years as the ENS faculty worked toward enrollment management and quality assurance in the programs. Curricular changes occurred as well in the early 2000’s. The emphasis in Pre-physical Therapy was changed to allow students a choice depending on their career paths. Rehabilitative Science became the track for students who wished to pursue graduate degrees in Physical Therapy while Kinesiotherapy was the track for students pursuing national registration in Kinesiotherapy. This dual track existed until 2008-09 when the Kinesiotherapy track was no longer offered.
This decade also saw a “revolving door” of Department Chairs and Directors. Barbara Ainsworth was hired as Chair of ENS in 2004-05 but left after one year. Peter Aufsesser became Interim Chair in 2005-06. The following year Janet Harris was hired as Department Chair until her retirement in 2010-11. The Department became a School in 2008-09 with the Chair becoming the Director. In 2010-11, Fred Kolkhorst was named ENS School Director and remains in that position as of 2014. In July 2011 Elliot Hirshman became the eighth President of SDSU with the retirement of Stephen Weber.
Curricular changes continued as the School faculty worked to ensure up-to-date curricula while also dealing with budgetary issues in California. In 2004-05, the M.A. degree in Kinesiology replaced the M.A. degree in Physical Education. Also taking place in 2004-05, the Adult Fitness Program changed its name to the Center for Optimal Health and Performance (pdf).
In 2012-13, the School of ENS changed affiliation from the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts to the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS). In that same catalog year a B.S. degree in Athletic Training (pdf) was approved as a separate Major rather than an emphasis in Kinesiology.
Admission to the Emphasis in Physical Education was suspended due to low student enrollment and budgetary considerations, which ended a long history of preparing students to apply to a credential program and eventually teach Physical Education in K-12. Finally, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program was approved (pdf) by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In 2013-14, a new emphasis became effective, Exercise Science Generalist (pdf), to ensure that transfer students had the opportunity to earn a degree by taking only 60 additional units.
In 2014, the Student Nutrition Organization was named the outstanding student club at SDSU (pdf) for all their activities and community involvement. The most recent change was the creation of a M.S. degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Applied Movement Science in fall 2015. This degree replaced the M.A. degree in Kinesiology.
Through 2014 and 2015, the school hosted a “Centennial Lecture Series” to commemorate its 100 years of history. The final lecture was on April 17, 2015 at the school’s Centennial Celebration Banquet, and was delivered by Dr. Steven Blair, a recognized authority on physical activity and chronic diseases.
As the saying goes, “the only constant is change” and the past 100+ years of ENS are testament to that sentiment. We are certain that additional changes will take place to reflect the diversity of our country and the needs of its citizenry. We look forward to a bright future for the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.