Welcome back everyone. I hope you all had an opportunity for time with family, friends and some much-deserved R&R. As we head into the winter semester, I want to update you on the status of some position changes and the President’s initiative: Planning for Distinction – Strategic Allocation of Resources.
Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies and Research
As most of you know, Dr. Rob Winn is taking on the role of interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He is also continuing as the Interim Director of Research to help maintain continuity of that office until decisions are made about restructuring the division of Academic Affairs. More on restructuring to come later in this update.
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Lisa Eckert is taking on the position interim Director of Graduate Studies. She will be splitting her time between her office in the English Department and the office in graduate studies.
I am also happy to announce that Dr. Jim Cantrell is the new GEC Administrator.
Restructuring Task Force
I received the recommendations from the Restructure Task Force just prior to the winter break. I met with the Task Force members on January 10, 2017 to discuss their recommendations. The models include a no dean model, a three-dean model and a four-dean model. The recommendations maintain the departments as they are currently structured however, the groupings of departments change in each model.
Currently, Dale Kapla (chair of the Restructure Task Force) and I are meeting with the deans and department heads of those areas that have potential to be impacted (moved to different groupings or colleges). Following those meetings there will be campus forums held with the Task Force acting as a panel so that faculty, staff and students can have questions answered and their input collected. Prior to the forums, I will send out the recommendations (with any revisions prior to then) to the campus community. I suspect there will be changes to the recommendations following feedback from deans, department heads, faculty, staff and students. Once we have finalized the recommendations I will bring them to the President’s Executive Committee for final discussions, recommendations and implementation. The process dovetails with Planning for Distinction and our consultant feels that we will garner even more information during the gathering and analyzing of data that occurs with that project.
Planning for Distinction: Strategic Resource Allocation
As explained in the President’s recent update, we are planning to move ahead with the Strategic Resource Allocation (SRA) process. I will present a resolution to move forward with this important project to the BOT at their February meeting. I will provide the BOT with information on the work of EPC (review of programs with declining enrollments and majors) and the feedback obtained from the Question & Answer sessions with Larry Goldstein so that the BOT will be able to make an informed decision.
If the BOT approves the resolution, we will immediately began to solicit nominations for two task forces (TF): an Academic Task Force and a Non Academic/Support Task Force. The Academic Task Force consists of faculty at a level no higher than department head. Typically, assistant professors are discouraged from being members because of their need to focus on obtaining tenure. The Non Academic/Support Task Force consists primarily of staff and a few faculty members. Faculty are on this task force because they use these supports in order to do their work; however, the majority of members on this task force are staff.
Who should be nominated (which can be a self-nomination or nomination by a colleague) to a task force? We are looking for those individuals who have the good of the university in focus versus the good of their specific discipline or support area. Many of you already know who those people are and would trust them to work diligently with equity and fairness. A Coordinating Committee (co-chaired by Gavin Leach and me) whose members are the university VPs and the Dean of Students selects the members for each task force from those nominated to the task force. Nominations can be from colleagues or self-nomination.
All task force members are required to attend a daylong training session that will be scheduled later in February. I have also asked Department Heads to consider ways to release task force members from service obligations within the departments and university so that they will have the time to do the work required.
Dale Kapla, associate provost is chairing a Facilitation Team that will work with each task force to provide guidance and support. Additional members of the Facilitation Team are Jason Nichols (IR), Felicia Flack (Business Intelligence & Information Services), Derek Hall (Communications & Marketing), Kim Rotundo (registrar), Jim Thams (facilities), Sherri Towers (finance) and Rhea Dever (HR).
We will provide regular updates about the progress and work of the task forces through campus forums and a website devoted to the project. It is essential that this process be transparent and fair.
I encourage everyone to attend one of the Question and Answer Forums that Larry Goldstein will facilitate on the following dates:
Tuesday January 31
9am – 12 noon
3pm – 6pm
Wednesday February 1
12 noon – 3pm
6pm – 9pm
Thursday February 2
9am – 12 noon
Please do not hesitate to email me if you have questions or suggestions about the Planning for Distinction: Strategic Resource Allocation project.
With kind regards,