- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - The University of Rhode Island is planning a major reorganization of its health-related academic programs.

The school said Monday the moves will consolidate brand new programs and existing ones under one entity called the Academic Health Collaborative.

URI officials say the restructuring is aimed at promoting better collaboration between researchers and to address challenges and changes in health care.

The school plans to hire a new dean to lead the new College of Health Sciences, which will join the colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing under the new entity and bring together programs including physical therapy, sports science and psychology.

Donald DeHayes, provost and vice president for academic affairs, says close to 5,000 students- or about one-third of the student body -are in health-related fields.

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