March 2016 | Office of the Provost

Arts Council announcement from President Hatch and Vice Provost Sutton

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The Wake Forest University Arts Council campaign begins March 14th, and will continue through April 15th. The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County continues to become more engaged with the community by asking the community to become more engaged with them. The theme for 2016 is “Join Us at the Table,” with the idea of inviting people to share ideas, help sustain their current programs, and create new ones. The Arts Council is listening and they want to make our community more creative and more beautiful by integrating innovative ideas.

We are a community of scholars and we understand the importance of a well-rounded education. The Arts Council provides arts and cultural enrichment opportunities to our students, faculty and staff beyond the classroom and our campus. The diversity of artists and cultural organizations that The Arts Council supports creates opportunities for the culturally rich community where we live, work, and continue to learn.

We will celebrate the arts at the next Provost’s Happy Hour at Zick’s from 4:00 – 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 7. Art Nouveau of Winston-Salem, the Arts Council’s young professional group, will also be in attendance providing information about how to get more involved in the arts community and promoting the upcoming independent music festival, Phuzz Phest.

We have some wonderful new incentives this year. For those who make a donation of $500 or more, we will have a drawing for a glassblowing class at The Olio. For those who make a gift of $250 or more, we will have a drawing for a pair of season tickets to the 2016-17 season of the WFU University Theatre.

We hope that you will consider making your donation to The Arts Council campaign so that they are able to continue these worthwhile projects in our community. The provided link will take you to a webpage where you will have cash, credit and payroll deduction options.

Thank you for your support of the Arts Council!

Nathan O. Hatch                                 Lynn Sutton

President                                             Arts Council Campaign Chair

Nominations requested for new Faculty Athletics Representative

Nominations are now being accepted for the appointment of a new Wake Forest University Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).  This is an appointment of a faculty member made by the President for a term of four years and in its broadest sense, provides a faculty viewpoint in the administration of intercollegiate athletic programs.  The FAR reports to the President in the university governance structure and has these major areas of responsibility:  academic oversight, student-athlete welfare, administrative responsibilities including representing Wake Forest at meetings of the NCAA and ACC, and compliance.   Among the FAR’s general responsibilities are periodic meetings with the President, Director of Athletics, and other athletics personnel, and student-athletes as needed. The President will evaluate the appointment over the term of the four years.

Nominations and recommendations may be submitted to Mary Pugel in the President’s Office:  Nominations are due by April 15, 2016.

WFU announces Biomedical Sciences and Engineering programs

Wake Forest University announced today that new academic programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering will anchor the University’s undergraduate presence, referred to as Wake Downtown, in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter beginning in 2017.

Last fall, Wake Forest announced plans to lease space in the rehabilitated former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company 60 series building in the Innovation Quarter, adjacent to what will become the home of the medical education programs of Wake Forest School of Medicine this summer.

Now, newly approved courses of study in Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery will extend the exceptional faculty-student engagement that is a hallmark of the Reynolda Campus to one of the fastest-growing urban-based districts for innovation in the country. The proximity of the 115,000-square-foot facility also will make it possible for undergraduates to take classes taught by faculty from Wake Forest School of Medicine.


“The frontier of science and technology has rarely been as exciting as it is today. While many Wake Forest students already work with medical school research mentors, the next-generation building complex that literally and figuratively brings medical and liberal arts education together under one roof will greatly enhance students’ opportunities for closer collaboration and deeper engagement,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “Wake Downtown presents a wonderful occasion to rethink how science is taught and how learning is best achieved.”

Biomedical Sciences and Engineering programs rooted in the Liberal Arts
According to the Education Advisory Board, employer demand for undergraduate biomedical science and technology graduates increased by 58 percent nationally and 43 percent in North Carolina from 2012 to 2014.

Academic programs recently approved by College faculty are expected to meet employer, student and societal demands. New courses of study include:

  • B.S. in Engineering – Wake Forest engineering students will exemplify the term ‘well-rounded,’ bringing to their subsequent careers or graduate studies a focus on applying engineering science, design and analysis to complex issues. The engineering major will offer optional biomedical and materials engineering emphases in a liberal arts environment of entrepreneurial and critical thinking. Classes in the engineering program are expected to begin in fall 2017.
  • B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Jointly administered by the Chemistry and Biology departments, this interdisciplinary degree will enable students to develop a conceptual understanding of and build practical skills to address increasingly complex biological, biochemical and biomedical challenges. Students preparing for research or pre-health careers will develop greater insight into the experimental approaches and results that lead to the current understanding of biomolecular function. Abundant undergraduate research opportunities will be available for students in WFU labs and those of several medical school departments already in the Innovation Quarter. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology classes will begin in January 2017.
  • Concentration in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery – Building upon existing strengths and research interests of faculty and students, the establishment of a medicinal chemistry concentration within the Department of Chemistry will provide a distinctive, high-quality educational experience at Wake Forest. The concentration provides a new path to an American Chemical Society certified B.S. degree that will increasingly attract students interested in health-related fields, biomedical sciences and pharmacology. Classes for the new concentration will begin in January 2017.

“The distinct and compelling new set of programs of Wake Downtown represent the most significant academic innovation in recent Wake Forest history and one of the most audacious efforts to rethink undergraduate science education as we know it,” said Michele Gillespie, Dean of Wake Forest College. “Embracing the Innovation Quarter as a hub for a liberal arts education is central to our future.”


Wake Downtown bridges communities and promises collaboration
Undergraduate students in these programs are estimated to spend approximately equal time on the main campus – studying arts, humanities, and basic sciences – and in the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering classrooms and labs downtown.

In addition to programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Wake Downtown will also enable expanded undergraduate offerings in entrepreneurship, bioethics, public health policy and the humanities.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Wake Forest’s undergraduate presence in the Innovation Quarter is the potential to collaborate with the greater Winston-Salem community, our shared City of Arts and Innovation. Along with contributing to the knowledge economy and growing job base in the Innovation Quarter, we plan to partner on community projects ranging from public arts to service to volunteer opportunities,” said Provost Rogan Kersh, whose leadership in the community includes chairing the city’s Poverty Thought Force. “As an extension of the Reynolda Campus, Wake Downtown will serve as an incubator for tomorrow’s leaders long before many of them even apply for admission.”

Approximately 350 undergraduates are expected to study downtown by 2021, when new programs are fully operational. Expanded facilities and an increased demand would enable the University to accommodate modest enrollment growth. Wake Forest also plans to hire additional faculty and staff – all of which would increase the University’s current $3.3 billion economic impact in the region.

“The Innovation Quarter has grown into a true knowledge community,” said Wake Forest Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson. “The addition of these new Wake Forest University undergraduate programs align perfectly with our ‘Work. Live. Learn. Play’ approach to building such a community.”

Innovation Quarter: Frequently Asked Questions

Why will we be extending the Reynolda Campus to include Building 60 in Innovation Quarter?

The University was presented with a unique opportunity to design space in an old Reynolds Tobacco building (Building 60) for classrooms, teaching labs, and research labs that provide next-generation facilities and innovative Reynolda/Medical School faculty partnerships at more modest costs. The developer, Wexford Scientific, is renovating this like other Innovation Quarter buildings at a considerable discount by taking advantage of tax benefits for historic buildings. They are passing this discount on to the University in the form of a lower rate for a 15-year lease. There will be options to buy the building in the future or continue leasing.

When will the building be finished?

We will take occupancy by the end of December 2016 for classes to begin in January 2017. The Medical School, which will occupy the north half of Building 60, will take occupancy in June 2016.

What else is going on in Innovation Quarter?


Wake Forest School of Medicine moved several basic science departments to Biotech Place (575 North Patterson Ave.) in 2012.

Inmar is a commercial technology and data analytics company who in 2014 established their global headquarters at 635 Vine St.

525@Vine (opened in 2014) is a multipurpose building that houses three School of Medicine departments/degree programs (Public Health Sciences, Nurse Anesthetist, and Physician’s Assistant), Flywheel (office and meeting space for freelancers and startup companies), Forsyth Technical & Community College, and a small YMCA facility, among others.

Bailey Park has become a city-wide destination for summer concerts, movie nights, outdoor yoga, running and bicycling races, and many other events.

Wake Forest School of Medicine will move its medical education program (first two years of medical school) to the north end of Building 60 in July 2016.

Renovation of Bailey Power Plant will begin in coming months; this downtown landmark will house retail, dining, and entertainment venues.

The city is developing a “Rails to Trails” path that will connect Martin Luther King Boulevard (8th Street, the north end of Innovation Quarter) with the Salem Lake Greenway.

What WFU programs will be housed in Building 60S?

New undergraduate programs were developed by faculty in the College in the spring and summer of 2015. Three lab-intensive programs were the first selected; each has enthusiastic faculty supporters, potential for attracting students at the same top quality as current WFU undergraduates, opportunities to work with School of Medicine faculty in research and teaching, and good fit for the laboratory-focused space available. These are:

Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery – a new concentration within the American Chemical Society-certified B.S. in Chemistry. This program was approved at the October 2015 College Faculty meeting.

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – a new B.S. to be jointly administered between Biology and Chemistry departments. The curriculum has been designed for certification by the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. This program was approved at the March 2016 College Faculty meeting.

Engineering – WFU faculty have developed various proposals for the last ~25 years to introduce engineering into the undergraduate curriculum. Faculty are proposing a department of Engineering within Division V of the College that would offer a B.S. in general engineering and an optional concentration in biomedical engineering. The curriculum has been designed for certification by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). This program was approved at the March 2016 College Faculty meeting.

Does ABET accredit general engineering degrees?

Yes. There are over 90 ABET-accredited programs in the United States that offer a B.S. in General Engineering.

 Does this curriculum prepare our students to obtain their Professional Engineers (PE) license?

Yes. The PE test is taken after an engineering graduate has worked for several years, but prior to graduation most engineering students will take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam that tests on core engineering courses that are components of the proposed curriculum.

Will other courses be taught in Innovation Quarter besides those for the new programs?

Yes – there will be classrooms available for reservation on a single-class or semester-long basis. Already faculty have requested that they be able to teach specific classes or courses in Innovation Quarter, and such early requests are encouraged so needs can be met.  College faculty are also in continuing conversations, often with medical-school counterparts, about a next phase of degree programs or majors; possibilities include Global Public Health, Entrepreneurship (perhaps centering on biotechnology), and Arts/Design, among others.

Will there be parking in Innovation Quarter?

It is anticipated that the shuttle system will be the preferred mode of transportation for most visitors.  There will be parking available for faculty and staff for whom Building 60 is their primary place of work. Other parking spots will be available for visitors on a more limited basis. A new parking garage will be built to accommodate limited traffic.

 How will students and faculty get between Reynolda Campus and Innovation Quarter in a timely fashion?

A shuttle system will run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. between sites. We are working to ensure that this shuttle system will be convenient, safe, and easy.

Will there be residence halls in Innovation Quarter?

Not at this time. A new residential apartment building is planned within Innovation Quarter (opposite the location of Biotech Place); this building will be available for senior WFU students wishing to live downtown, but won’t be a WFU residence hall.

How will security be handled?

The shared lobby (between WFU and School of Medicine) will have a security guard around the clock. There will also be sworn campus officers on patrol during anticipated high usage times (expected 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). The School of Medicine has asked that WFU take a lead in security and they will share the cost. There will be card access throughout the building.

How will Building 60 be managed?

The current plan is that a Building Operations Manager will manage the School of Medicine and WFU space, to ensure the same standard of service and response time students and faculty enjoy on the Reynolda Campus.

Will undergraduate enrollment increase?

Yes, in a carefully planned manner through the 2021-22 academic year, with ~20 new first-year students in Fall 2016.

Will new faculty be hired?

Yes, also in a carefully planned manner through the 2021-22 academic year, in consultation with the Office of the Dean of the College and department chairs. Current projections are that ~10 new faculty (mostly tenure-track faculty) will be hired in the College for the new academic programs described above. ~12 new faculty (mostly tenure-track) will be hired in the College to accommodate new students meeting divisional requirements on the Reynolda Campus.


You’re invited: Faculty/Staff Dinner on March 15th

Wake Forest faculty and staff are cordially invited to a Danish hygge dinner in recognition of Global Wake Forest. ​​To RSVP for this event, please visit



Hygge Invitation