Home Faculty meeting University of the Pacific Master of Social Work program plans to move to Forest Grove – The Pacific Index

University of the Pacific Master of Social Work program plans to move to Forest Grove – The Pacific Index

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Pacific University voted to move Eugene’s Master of Social Work program to its Forest Grove campus, despite protests from existing students and Eugene community members.

University spokeswoman Jenni Luckett told the Index:

“There is a higher demand in the greater Portland area…We need to make sure we are meeting the needs of our students.”

Maddie Domka is a first-year student in the Master of Social Work program at Pacific University Eugene. They were notified of the campus change on May 4 a week after staff received the news, via email. Domka is the last promotion of the MSW program before the transition to Forest Grove. Domka believes that this situation could have been handled differently by the administration.

“We [MSW students] care so much about this program and have individually dedicated at least 400 hours to Lane County, and 900 in total. Moving the program affects current students, future students, staff and the community,” Domka said.

Daniel Isaacson is the president of the Suicide Prevention Coalition in Lane County, which often hosts interns from the MSW program. He learned about the campus change from mutual friends who had worked in the Master of Social Work program.

“There hasn’t been an official announcement, so it’s not an email that’s been sent out saying we’re considering this. It was a very clandestine behind-the-scenes decision that prompted me to educate about it and ultimately tell the public about it because it has such an impact on the community,” Isaacson said.

The Master of Social Work program has been operating and helping the Eugene community for nearly ten years.

The College of Arts and Sciences held a vote on May 5 to close the Eugene campus. Students in general are not permitted to attend College of Arts and Sciences faculty meetings, so students were not present when voting.

“Oregon is last in mental health funding. It’s addiction number two. It’s number one in methamphetamine use. Methamphetamine is a psychotic drug, which means people who take it will have a mental health crisis. We have one of the highest homelessness rates,” Isaacson said.

According to Mental Health America’s 2021 State Rankings, Oregon ranks 48th to 51st in mental health funding among states, giving it one of the lowest scores in the nation. —Jamie Samson and Emaleah Hursh

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