Last week, Chancellor Plowman formally announced our university-wide strategic visioning process and urged everyone across campus to engage with this effort. This is an important step in shaping the future of our university. Hearing from a wide variety of voices, especially faculty across all academic departments, will be critical in crafting a strong vision.
I am honored to co-chair this effort with Chancellor’s Professor Suzie Allard from the College of Communication and Information. We are working with two committees to guide the process. Members of these committees will be drafting proposed mission, vision, and goals statements, and you will have opportunities to provide feedback on these drafts in March and April.
To prepare for this work, an ad hoc committee appointed by Chancellor Plowman and chaired by me met twice during December and January to examine the current landscape and give an assessment of where the university is currently positioned. The result of that work is a white paper that you can find on the strategic vision web page.
I hope you will take the time to read the white paper; reach out to me or other members of the executive and visioning committees to share your ideas, experiences, and perspectives; and participate in one or more of the feedback sessions this spring.
First-Year Experience Task Force to Develop Plan to Revamp Programs
How our students engage with their classmates, professors, and curriculum in their first year on campus has a significant impact on whether they return for a second year. The Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Life offer a number of programs and initiatives aimed at connecting students to the campus community early on in their academic career.
Programs like new student orientation, Welcome Week, and living and learning communities are critical opportunities for our students to make deep connections and relationships. With that in mind, we are looking at new ways to enhance these programs. I am charging the new First-Year Experience Task Force with developing a robust plan for a comprehensive integrated first-year experience for all our students—one that will foster a sense of belonging, self-advocacy, confidence, and resilience. The task force will be chaired by Vice Provost for Student Success Amber Williams. The group will work throughout the spring and summer on recommendations, with a proposal due to my office by October.
Internal Search Under Way for New Director of Honors and Scholars Programs
An internal search has launched for a new associate vice provost and director of Honors and Scholars Programs. Tim Hulsey, who currently holds the position, will be returning to the faculty.
The new associate vice provost will also supervise the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. All three programs will become part of the new Division of Student Success, led by Vice Provost Amber Williams.
If you are a tenured professor or associate professor with a strong vision for a successful and collaborative Honors and Scholars Programs and a passion for leading innovative personalized student success initiatives, I encourage you to apply.