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Back-to-School Update: University's Academic Plan
ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 6, 2006) ? Two years ago, Ohio University launched the process of creating a new academic plan. Based on suggestions from hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members, the Presidential Task Force on the Future of Ohio University wrote a 60-page strategic plan known as Vision OHIO. The plan identifies broad university goals such as enhancing the first-year student experience, expanding scholarly activity and recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, staff and students.

Over the past year, 10 implementation teams met to develop specific action plans and priorities based on these goals. They brought forth nearly 150 potential initiatives. Over the past several months, the executive implementation team, which includes the chairs and co-chairs of all 10 implementation teams, has reviewed and prioritized the proposals.

In August, this group recommended three top priorities to Provost Kathy Krendl. They are:

  • Investing in undergraduate education: improving student retention by focusing on the freshman year with additional residential learning communities; establishing a common intellectual experience for first-year students, as Vision OHIO calls for, through an expanded common reading program; recognizing and supporting outstanding teaching in first-year courses; and developing learning outcomes for first-year courses.

  • Investing in graduate education and research: supporting graduate-student research and travel; establishing a pool of funds to improve graduate stipends for competitive recruitment; and re-engineering the accounting and hiring processes for externally funded research projects.

  • Investing in the faculty: reviewing faculty salaries and developing a multi-year strategy to increase them to target levels; creating new tenure-track positions; and establishing a faculty development center in the library.

Interdisciplinary and diversity initiatives will be integrated into these priority areas.

"I strongly support these priorities, and I will work with the appropriate stakeholders on campus to find ways to implement them,? Krendl said. ?Ohio University has a long tradition of academic excellence. Focusing on these areas will allow us to build upon our strengths and work toward our goal of national distinction and prominence.?

The executive implementation team will wrap up its work later this month. The group plans to refer specific additional recommendations to existing committees for detailed planning. The full list of prioritized items will be published on the Web at ohio.edu/vision.

Published: Sep 5, 2006 5:15:50 PM
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