Monday Minute: February 16, 2009

Colleagues,

We received a lot of good feedback from the faculty and staff meetings on Friday, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate. I've had helpful suggestions about the use of video conferencing, and we'll keep working on how to moderate the meetings to ensure that everyone feels free to contribute.

The meetings generated a number of good revenue-generating ideas. In terms of curriculum, they included expanding enrollment in some courses able to handle it, offering some of our lecture courses online, expanding our course offerings during the summer, and converting some smaller-enrollment seminars into larger lecture classes that could draw students from across the University and the larger community. Ideas also arose in terms of new certificates, retraining activities, and even new degree programs that could attract a new cohort of traditional and non-traditional students alike. We heard other suggestions of increasing our research activities, particularly federal research that generates indirect-cost recovery and consulting services that generate external sales revenue. Tapping economic stimulus money and the dedicated funds at the state level for the arts and the natural environment also came up as something we should pursue.

Our next step is to draw upon your ideas as we finish a draft of the compact request we'll present to the Provost next week. The deans and department heads will review the draft on Wednesday morning, and we'll send the compact out to faculty and staff for comment by Thursday morning. The time frame they've given us is very tight, so we'll be asking for comments back by 8 a.m. Friday. For longer-term planning, task forces will be formed to assess revenue generating ideas and the implications of the Graduate School's closure. Watch for more about that in a future Monday Minute.

Tom

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