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Call for nominations: Academic Planning and Strategy group

Published: October 21, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The following message was shared with Ohio University faculty on October 21, 2020.

Dear Colleagues,

Tenured, tenure-track, and instructional faculty are invited to self-nominate to participate in the Academic Planning and Strategy group, which will lead a critically important academic planning process to envision the academic future of our university. The pandemic continues to affect institutions across the country, exacerbating the challenges that were facing higher education even before COVID-19 emerged. The work we do this year and our willingness to openly ask fundamental questions about our future and to collaborate to create solutions will be critical to both preserving and refocusing on the core of the university – our academic mission.

The Academic Planning and Strategy group will focus on three areas:  

1. Academic offerings: Are we offering the right courses, programs, and other academic offerings in the right places and modalities to meet the needs, interests, and expectations of current and future students?

2. Academic structure: Which academic structures help us achieve our mission and priorities? Which impede us?

3. Academic policy, process, and practice: Which policies, processes, and practices help us achieve our mission and priorities? Which impede us?

Please complete the survey at https://ohio.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6xOkHsypv9JhLo1 to self-nominate by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26.

In addition to self-nominations, we will seek nominations for representatives from Faculty Senate, the University Curriculum Council, and Deans’ Council. The Academic Planning and Strategy group will first meet for several sessions as a large group to share data and to develop a common understanding of the goals and process for academic planning. We will then break into subgroups to develop recommendations in each of the three areas outlined above. It is expected that each subgroup will seek broad input and feedback as they develop their recommendations.

Recommendations will be completed by March 1, 2021. Depending on the nature of the recommendations, recommendations will go through appropriate shared governance processes (e.g., University Curriculum Council, Faculty Senate), to President’s or Deans’ Council, or to the appropriate unit for implementation. The process will reflect the urgency of supporting the academic mission while maintaining shared governance.

The Academic Planning and Strategy group is part of a broader, ongoing academic planning process. In addition to the process outlined above, additional groups have already begun working on other critical academic areas. For example, the International Think Tank, chaired by Dr. Purba Das and Dean Donal Skinner, is developing recommendations to increase international research, recruiting, partnerships, and international student support. Discussions with faculty and students over the last two months are coalescing around priority academic actions to become a more inclusive and anti-discriminatory institution. I also anticipate that the work of the Academic Planning and Strategy group will intersect with ongoing strategic initiatives such as digital transformation and student success in productive ways.

Every day, I see the additional work that faculty and staff members have taken on during the pandemic, even while juggling disrupted home lives and, in some cases, health challenges. I would not ask you to dedicate time to this effort if I did not believe that it was vitally important to our academic future, to our students, and to our communities. I hope you will join me in this important work.


Elizabeth Sayrs
Executive Vice President and Provost