Monday Minute, March 1, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Our college's Blue Ribbon Committee has submitted its report. My thanks go out to the committee members for the great work that they did in such a short period of time.

A primary recommendation of the report echoes discussions in the faculty assembly: the need to engage in a strategic planning effort across the college. I want us to start this strategic planning effort right away, focusing on two priorities suggested in the committee report.

First, we need to be much more strategic, looking at changes occurring in the world, in higher education, and in our various fields. From there, we should develop plans that will enable us to thrive in a very different future from what we have envisioned in the past.

Second, we need to work more from the ground up. As state funding and the number of college-age students in our region decline precipitously in the coming years, we need to enhance our national and international competitiveness, with every program and center identifying where it excels, sharpening its brand, and using that to recruit students and attract national and international funding.

We will start a conversation tomorrow with the department heads about how to begin this process, and I would like to meet with each program and center in the coming months to discuss this further. I think every unit in the college has great value and potential, but circumstances will force us to do a better job identifying and promoting our real strengths across a much wider geography than in the past.

I look forward to working with you on this.

Tom

PS: Our compact meeting with the provost went well today, and as soon as we have the compact posted on our website, we'll send out the URL so that you can see what we discussed.

PPS: Nominations for honors and awards are due March 8. You can download the award guidelines on the college Web site. Please take this opportunity to nominate deserving colleagues.

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