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Committees formed to begin work on Academic Plan goals
Committees formed to begin work on Academic Plan goalsOctober 26, 2001SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Four interdisciplinary committees have been formed to fully develop the four “spires” that Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund has identified in the University’s Academic Plan(http://acadplan.syr.edu).
The Strategic Partnerships for Innovative Research and Education (SPIRE) leadership committees are charged with investigating and formulating an agenda for world-class research and pre-eminence in prioritized areas of the Academic Plan. Each committee will identify institutional options and policies for investment in one of the plan’s four “spires”: Citizenship and Social Transformation, Information Management and Technology, Environmental Systems and Quality and Collaborative Design.
“The events of September 11 make it even more important that we redouble our efforts to be world leaders in higher education,” says Freund. “And this means striking out in new directions and taking the risks to get there, so that the Syracuse that emerges is even more distinctive and well known than the SU we know and love now,” Freund says.
Each committee is comprised of six or seven faculty members from across campus, as well as ex-officio members. Faculty members were recommended by the deans of the University’s schools and colleges, and selected by Freund for committee membership.
“With [your] leadership and knowledge, I am confident that we are on a path to bring our university even greater recognition and prominence,” Freund says in a letter to the committee members. “We have formulated our priorities and assessed our institutional strengths and challenges. Now the difficult work begins.”
As part of their charge, the committees are asked to give an honest assessment of the University’s standing and capability in each respective spire. They are also asked to address what specific steps should be taken to achieve world-class pre-eminence in respect to institutional partnerships to enhance research productivity, institutional actions to dramatically enhance external research funding and coordinated efforts to substantively improve Ph.D level graduate education. Additionally, committees will address what new degree programs, curricula reforms and/or programs of study should be offered to achieve world-class excellence.
The committees have begun their work, and each has been asked to submit a final report to Freund and the deans by March 1, 2002. An interim progress report will be submitted to Freund at the end of the fall semester.
The Information Management and Technology (IM&T) SPIRE held its inaugural meeting on Oct. 17, and was briefed on the goals of the SPIRES Program by Freund, says IM&T Chair Elizabeth Liddy, professor in the School of Information Studies and director of the school’s Center for Natural Language Processing. After the briefing, the committee members then established its processes for crafting an agenda to move IM&T to the next level of internationally recognized excellence.
Liddy says the committee will focus on both substance, defining the areas of strength which can enable SU to move to the next level of excellence; and structure, institutional aspects which can be adapted to support the move to the next level of excellence in IM&T. The committee will brainstorm; map concepts; analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and review other universities which offer successful models of “excellency.”
“We have embarked on a very exciting task, which involves a superior group of SU’s experts in IM&T. We are committed to realizing the full potential that exists on our campus,” Liddy says. “We will be presenting the provost with some truly exciting plans at the end of this semester which will enable SU to ‘gild the lily’ of IM&T.”
Liddy encourages any member of the SU community who would like to offer their input on the committee’s work to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org