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Feature

Signing on

top professors send letter of support for reshaping the University

Published on April 11, 2005

In a letter to University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks, 31 Distinguished McKnight University Professors and Regents Professors have expressed their "strong endorsement" for recommendations released on March 30 to reshape the University's academic programs--the "strategic positioning" effort designed to help the University become one of the top three public research universities in the world.

Bruininks is in the process of reviewing the recommendations, which include creating a Regents Honors College; integrating the College of Human Ecology into a new College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and a new College of Design; and absorbing the General College into other programs at the University.

"The great universities of the 21st century will look very different from those of the last," the professors write. "It is within our power to make the University of Minnesota one of the world's great centers of scholarship, but only if we unlock the creativity and imagination of our whole community."

Jeffrey Roberts, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor from the chemistry department, signed the letter for the group, acknowledging that the recommendations are only a beginning and that even "bolder" changes will be necessary.

"McKnight and Regents Professors set the standard for the kind of progressive, dynamic intellect that makes institutions like the U great," Bruininks says. "They are respected within the University community and nationally. I'm encouraged to receive their support for this initiative and energized by their call for even bolder action."

Bruininks will consult with the University community before presenting his own recommendations to the Board of Regents at its May meeting.

The Regents professorship is the University's highest recognition for faculty whose accomplishments in teaching and scholarship or creative work have contributed uniquely to the University and to the public good.

For information on the University of Minnesota's strategic positioning effort and the complete text of the McKnight and Regents Professors' letter, see www.umn.edu/systemwide/strategic_positioning. ----------

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