As the fall semester has come to a close, I wish to draw your attention to the truly impressive progress we have made on the implementation of the new College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Plan—just six short months since its adoption. Last spring, staff, students and faculty shared honest feedback and insightful guidance to the CAS Strategic Planning Committee to help craft our plan. This document has come to serve as a touchstone for me – a blueprint for much of the work I do each day.
I hope you will have the opportunity to review the attached progress report in detail – below are just a few highlights. Over the past six months we have:
• Begun to incorporate language that celebrates the liberal arts into College publications whenever possible
• Contracted a design consultant to produce a comprehensive conceptual plan to distinctively brand CAS space
• Created a new “global engagement” category of our $1000 faculty achievement award
• Begun to develop new risk assessment tool for incoming first-year students to improve retention
• Held multiple productive meetings between the senior leadership of CAS and EUP to better coordinate curriculum planning and renegotiate revenue sharing
• Created a new, comprehensive, searchable CAS Faculty Proposals and Awards Database
• Formed a new CAS Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities (RSCA) Committee to advance discovery and dissemination in the College
• Initiated a comprehensive review of the Summer I and II budget model and its relationship to revenue generated by on-line course offerings
• Begun a grant program to support CAS staff who wish to take advantage of the HIGE staff and faculty study abroad program
• Begun holding regular meetings between me, WMU Development, and the CAS Marketing Director to invigorate College development efforts
• Begun to implement a university-wide imaging initiative that will include the digitization of most CAS records
• Developed a comprehensive College technology support center, providing effective on-going individual and departmental support
• Allocated 12 new faculty lines for AY 2013-14 with significant input from directors and chairs
I have every confidence that, together, we can continue to make great strides in the upcoming months and years. These are challenging times to be sure, but with a willingness to embrace change and with our sleeves rolled up, the College of Arts and Sciences will continue to lead this great university and serve as the firm foundation for the three pillars that have come to symbolize WMU’s mission.
I want to sincerely thank you for your dedication to your students, colleagues, and scholarship. I am grateful for your support and tremendously proud to serve as your dean.