April 25, 2005

 

Dear Professor Nelson,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to the Inventing the Future reports. This is valuable input and will be utilized as we move through our planning processes.

As announced by Vice Chancellors Burnett and Henderson the recommendations you have supported for Recruiting and Retention are in the process of implementation. Currently all colleges are in the process of examining opportunities to expand experiential learning opportunities appropriate for specific academic units. The discussion of experiential learning will be a central focus of our efforts to assess the curriculum for increased excellence and opportunities for efficiencies.

I take seriously your concerns about the potential for a Division of Innovation. I will address the issues you raise as the design team for the potential Division deals with these concerns and others. As you know, the Deans of Business, Engineering, and the Graduate School of Public Affairs along with selected faculty will work with Vice Chancellors Redding and Henderson to examine the potential for relating professional degrees more directly to our community's economic vitality and to address the current budget situations faced in these colleges. We also are working to include an externally-funded center that would focus on innovation as it relates to the management of non-profit organizations.

For the first two years, the coordination and development oversight of the Division of Innovation will be the responsibility of Vice Chancellors Jim Henderson and Rogers Redding. As an initial step in the planning for the new division, Vice Chancellors Jim Henderson and Rogers Redding will join with the three college deans and faculty from all three colleges to form a Design Team. In consultation with the Executive Team, external advisory groups, and campus constituencies, this Design Team will develop an implementation strategy and the permanent organization for the division or the forum this organization should take. An early responsibility of the Design Team will be to recommend a set of goals in the following areas: Interdisciplinary curriculum (degrees. courses, programs) emphasizing innovation and experiential learning; improvement in the general fund results (Sources and Uses Statements) for the division units; targets for grants and contracts; and target for enrollment growth. I will ask the Design Team to specially address your identified concerns.

I am pleased the FA will begin to look at issues of faculty workload. I am asking Vice Chancellor Redding to keep me informed of your progress and how we may contribute to this discussion and potential recommendations. Finally I agree that we will continue to assess administrative structural changes appropriate to streamline the "way we do business" including the administrative structure at all levels throughout the University. I am personally taking responsibility in this area and ideas should come directly to me. I will, of course, bring future changes to all governance and leadership groups prior to implementation.

Thank you for your valuable input.

Sincerely,

 

Pam Shockley-Zalabak
Chancellor