LTU names founding dean of new College of Health Sciences

SOUTHFIELD—Lawrence Technological University has named the founding dean for its fifth college, the College of Health Sciences.

Mary C. Schutten will assume office on May 1. LTU Provost Richard Heist had been serving as interim dean of the college since its establishment in July 2023.

Mary C. Schutten. Lawrence Technological University photo.

Schutten was previously executive vice president and provost at Central Michigan University, and before that dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at San Jose State University in California. Earlier, she held administrative, teaching, and coaching positions at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, Calvin University in Grand Rapids, and Grand Valley State University in Allendale.

Lawrence Tech started its move into healthcare-related education with the establishment of a biomedical engineering program in 2011, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 2017, in partnership with the health care group Ascension Michigan. LTU has also added a Master of Healthcare Administration, a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, and a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion.

LTU President Tarek M. Sobh said the university is currently planning for the College of Health Sciences to add more healthcare degrees in fields such as occupational therapy and physical therapy, as well as doctoral programs in physician assistant studies and nursing, and two-year associate degree programs that will prepare students to pass certification examinations for jobs such as surgical technician, radiology technician, respiratory therapist, and dental technician.

“Our College of Health Sciences was formed to address the growing need for technologically educated medical professionals in all parts of the healthcare sector,” Sobh said. “We believe Mary Schutten is the perfect person to lead our growing efforts in healthcare education and cutting-edge research, as the need for healthcare professionals continues to grow.”

Said Schutten of her appointment: “When I learned about LTU’s expansion into health sciences, I was immediately energized by the potential it held in addressing the healthcare needs of our region. The university’s vision to be recognized for transformative STEM, design, and now healthcare education, alongside its commitment to developing leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset and global perspective, aligns perfectly with my own professional aspirations for the new college. Job-ready healthcare graduates need skills and competencies within their individual fields, and must also be able to communicate, collaborate, work effectively on cross-disciplinary teams, be adept users of technology, data analytics, and social media, understand the social and cultural determinants of health and wellness, and be mindful of and able to advocate for the health and wellness of all human beings in order to meet the demands of an ever-changing society. LTU’s commitment to excellence and its focus on increasing access by offering quality programs that meet the needs of learners as well as LTU’s values, which place students at the center and aim to transform lives through accessible, student-centered, experiential education to address the health needs of a global society, is at the heart of the new College of Health Sciences.”

Schutten earned a Doctor of Physical Education degree from Indiana University. Her doctoral research centered on reaction time and its sensor-motor components in the aging adult. Earlier, she earned a Master of Arts in physical education with an exercise science emphasis from California State University at Long Beach, and a bachelor of arts in education, majoring in mathematics and physical education, from Calvin University. She has earned numerous additional certifications and professional awards, has authored six academic textbook chapters, has written or co-authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed academic papers, and has made more than two dozen academic presentations.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs@LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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