Monday Minute, December 21, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

On this winter solstice, with the shortest day of the year upon us, I thought that it would be a good time to thank everyone for the great work you have done this semester and for all that we have to look forward to in the coming year. I know that my messages every Monday can sometimes sound dire, given the state of the economy and the financial pressures on the University. But, like the solstice, these may be the darkest hours before we return to brighter days ahead.

At a meeting the deans had with the provost on Friday, Tom Sullivan made it clear that the University wants to refocus on our fundamental mission of teaching, research, and outreach, with increasing scrutiny given to efforts, however well intended, that lie outside the scope of those core activities. What that means for us, I don't yet know, but I do know that this focus on the core and this attention to scope will be a part of our discussions in the college this coming year.

I think we will do well in such conversations. In many ways, we have had been having them as a Wave I college since our inception almost four years ago. But, as more than one faculty member observed at the assembly last week, this also presents us with an opportunity to think strategically about possible directions we might take as a collegiate community, and that, too, will certainly be a topic of conversation next year. Much to look forward to!

I will be taking a break from Monday Minute next week, and so we'll talk next year. Until then, have a safe and restful holiday.