Share your vision for the UMD campus in 2020.
It's great to have a vision. We have all the vision committees- I'm on the one dealing with technology- and it's a process involving folks across campus at all levels of employment-categories of employment. We need to include them all in our vision but remember we are delivering educational/ academic curriculae here. The support staff is very important for our work, BUT we are a university and we must have monies for our course delivery. We may not take the misstep and craft a vision that creates a sense of UMD shifting to become a glorified Vocational-Tech Institute. I work weekly with colleagues from MSCF and MNSCU. That's their work and they will be likely closing programs and possibly entire campuses. We can't shift our focus to duplicate services with them. We need to remain visionary and EDUCATE young people not train them. Students, staff and faculty are of primary importance in this task. Administration is present to SUPPORT US. I fear we have got the "cart before the horse" in this relationship in Higher Education.
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I endorse the longer version of the vision statement. The longer version gives a clear picture of our vision for UMD and supports the mission statement. The goals we have established move UMD forward toward our vision. We might want to tweak a few words. I'm not fond of the word "rich" in sentence 2 used to describe the curricula.
I like where we are on the vision statement. I add one concern - we have omitted an important aspect of what we will be facing in the next decade: effective enrollment management. We can look forward to a changing student demographic, some projections showing stable or even declining overall enrollment, and students entering our campus with increasing financial, personal, and academic challenges. It may become difficult to realize our vision if we are not best serving our students from application to graduation. Providing high-quality instructional, residential, cultural, and recreational facilities, along with a growth in faculty, staff, and student services will be a step in improving our undergraduate retention rates.
I really miss the word "interdisciplinary" here. If we are going to reflect the world we are educating people for, we need to embrace this concept. Yes, it means that the current system of silos will be challenged, but we must explore how we allow our learning environment to reflect the world as it is, and as it is becoming.
Specialization in one discipline, which has built the silo system, is something that already doesn't reflect the present and near future working life of our students and recent graduates. With students likely to experience so many different jobs by the time they are 40, and having to deal with so many technological and systemic changes over the next 20-30 years, higher education needs to create learning environments that bring the disciplines together, across departments, across schools and colleges, across curricular and co-curricular. We are woefully behind already regarding this issue and it will take time. Without an incentive in the vision statement to realize this, I fear that we will be saving the system of silos but diminishing our ability to deliver the education needed for the mid-21st century.
I just read the most current versions of the Mission Statement and the Vision Statement. In the vision it's very clear we want to position ourselves as globally competent individuals. I agree completely with Bill Payne and have heard Denny Falk speak to interdisciplinarity on multiple occasions. We seem to be too focused on research as a defining aspect of who we are. Shouldn't research be imbedded in all we do? This is what all of us do in all disciplines. But it's larger than the single word research. It's about making connections and associations across campus. Of course, if we really want to be global we should be humble, respectful of others and their cultures. We should be able to meet citizens in other countries on their terms and for this we must speak other languages and be competent in other cultures. Global isn't just from our perspective. We are foreigners in 187 countries around the World and "at home" in 1. I would hope Higher Ed could embrace the inherent complexity in understanding this relationship.
Jonny Conant, former Chair of For Languages and Lit here @ UMD said re: language and culture competence:
It's easy to buy products from other countries: they often come to us and they know us and speak our language. But how about selling our own products abroad?? Maybe that's a part of our trade problem. We need to spend more time understanding others.
The University of Minnesota Duluth will be a comprehensive premier land and sea-grant university, distinguished by its accomplished graduates and known globally for its research and creative endeavors.
We will engage students and encourage lifelong learning through our rich innovative curricula.
We will prepare graduates who are sought after by employers because of their cultural, global, and professional competence.
We will address issues central to global society’s scientific, cultural, economic, and artistic vitality through research and creative inquiry.
We will become a leader in research learning opportunities by leveraging the region’s unique natural, human, and cultural resources.
We will create a campus that exemplifies resource sustainability, integration of technology and information, connecting global perspectives, honoring social justice, and collaboration.
We will be engaged in the cultural, economic, and intellectual life of Duluth and surrounding communities.
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