The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the merger of the IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and School of Health and Rehabilitation Services. The university says the combined entity, to be known as the School of Health & Human Services will strengthen IUPUI’s role in "supporting the health and well-being of Hoosiers across the state and beyond."

IUPUI says the proposed merger received "overwhelming support" from faculty and staff of both schools after a vote earlier this month. 

"This restructuring enhances the current strengths of both schools while also creating new opportunities to cultivate excellence in research, student learning and student support services," IU President Michael McRobbie said in a news release. "By reducing competition and producing stronger, aligned undergraduate programs, we are providing a solid foundation for future careers in the health professions as well as emerging careers related to health and wellness."

IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar says merging the schools will strengthen the university’s research and educational enterprise. "This new school will also position us to partner with the city of Indianapolis in building the sports innovation and tourism ecosystems that are so important to the local economy."

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences dates back to the early 1940s. However, the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management can trace its origins to 1866, which makes it not only the oldest academic unit at IUPUI, but the oldest school in the country designed for preparing physical education teachers. 

IU did not state when the merger would take effect for students.