The goal of the strategic postioning plan is to move the University into the top three public research universities in the world within the next decade.
President Bruininks releases next step for the future of the U
Strategic positioning goes forward
Published on May 6, 2005
University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks released a plan today that will realign academic programs, implement cost-saving administrative reforms, and enhance diversity, writing, and international programs at the University.
The plan, which Bruininks will present to the Board of Regents next week, will also reduce the number of Twin Cities campus colleges by three through merging academic programs.
"This plan will be the cornerstone for a stronger, more competitive University of Minnesota," Bruininks says. "In today's world, standing still means falling behind. Financial, demographic, and global challenges will overwhelm us if we don't reduce costs, play to our strengths, and rise above the higher-education crowd as the destination of choice for the best faculty and students."
Bruininks will request Board of Regents approval for changes in the following academic areas:
- Design: The University will create a new College of Design which would include the current College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the College of Human Ecology's department of design, housing, and apparel.
- Education and human development: The University will integrate academic departments related to education and human development across the life span into a single college. These include the College of Education and Human Development, General College, and the College of Human Ecology's department of family social science and School of Social Work.
- Food systems, environmental science, and renewable resources: The University will integrate the College of Natural Resources and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences into a single college. In addition, the department of food science and nutrition, now jointly administered by the College of Human Ecology and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, will be part of the expanded college.
Bruininks's plan also calls for significant improvements in administrative operations and in the student experience, as well as shifts in the culture of the faculty. A series of task forces will begin immediately to implement efforts to:
- Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the University's administrative functions;
- Expand student support services;
- Create a new position--vice president for diversity--and intensify efforts to recruit students from diverse backgrounds;
- Establish the Center for Transfer and International Admissions;
- Expand the pipeline from MnSCU institutions to the University of Minnesota;
- Deepen the University's leadership in improving the preparation of students in the preK-12 system;
- Develop a baccalaureate writing program;
- Develop a campuswide honors program;
- Create greater opportunities for international learning and research;
- Enhance the Academic Health Center's ability to meet the changing needs of the health workforce and maximize research breakthroughs in health sciences; and
- Evaluate the College of Liberal Arts and its potential to become a premier international model in the field.
In late March, Bruininks received the recommendations of two task forces that were charged with identifying academic and administrative reforms. Over the past month, Bruininks has been consulting with students, faculty, and the University community to get input in forming the recommendations announced today.
"Whether it's the University Senate, the deans of our colleges, the leading editorial pages, or community leaders, I'm gratified and encouraged with the level of support this strategic positioning effort is receiving," Bruininks says. "No change comes to an organization as large and diverse as ours without some opposition, but I know the Board of Regents shares a vision for a stronger University--and I look forward to presenting it to them next week."
Bruininks will formally present his recommendations to the Board of Regents on Friday, May 13. The action items are scheduled for a board vote at the June 9-10 meeting. The full text of Bruininks's recommendations can be found on the Strategic Positioning Process Web site.