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Eleven task forces submit revised Transforming the U recommendations

February 16, 2006

The first 11 of 34 task forces working to transform the University of Minnesota into one of the top three public research universities in the world have submitted their revised recommendations.

Developed by 113 faculty, staff, students, and community members who served on the 11 task forces, the recommendations are now being reviewed by University leaders.

"These revised recommendations represent ideas on a wide range of issues by an informed and engaged group of people," says Vice President Kathy Brown, who is guiding this phase of the strategic positioning process. "The recommendations themselves have been strengthened by input and discussion with the broader U community over the past few weeks."

Among the task forces are those charged with the redesign of six Twin Cities campus colleges into three colleges and systemwide task forces on diversity, international, and preK-12 strategy.

"We are on a path to truly transform the University," says Senior Vice President Robert Jones. "The task force recommendations will inform and shape the decisions that will move us toward our goal of becoming a top-three public research university."

More than 350 people participated in the public comment period from December 16 to January 27. In addition, many task forces held open forums, focus groups, and interviews on all campuses to get additional input. In all, more than 225 discussions with individuals and groups were held since the task forces began work in September 2005.

"The depth and breadth of consultation during the public comment period was extremely valuable and I applaud the task force members for their diligence," says Tom Sullivan, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "The feedback has strengthened the recommendations and produced greater clarity of thought in some key areas."

"We are on a path to truly transform the University," says Senior Vice President Robert Jones. "The task force recommendations will inform and shape the decisions that will move us toward our goal of becoming a top-three public research university."

While senior U officers are already reviewing the revised recommendations, a two-day retreat for the leadership team, including President Robert Bruininks and Provost Tom Sullivan, is scheduled for February 28 and March 1 to determine next steps.

"The work of these task forces are producing recommendations that will emerge in different ways and at different stages as we develop implementation plans to transform the University over the next few years," Brown says. "Each one merits consideration and will enrich the journey toward top three." Other task forces are at different points in the process. Public comment periods continue:

A brief review of the 11 academic and systemwide task force recommendations appears below. To read them in full see the Transforming the U Web site (click on Task Force Revised Recommendations).

Collegiate design: CALA/CHE

Revised recommendations include:

Collegiate design: GC/CEHD and Collegiate design: CHE/CEHD

Each of these task forces was asked to consider different aspects of an expanded college formed from the integration of the College of Education and Human Development, General College and the School of Social Work and Department of Family Social Sciences from the College of Human Ecology. Revised recommendations include:

Collegiate design: CNR/COAFES/CHE

Revised recommendations include:

Diversity Revised recommendations include: Graduate reform: Student Support Revised recommendations include: Forging an International University Revised recommendations include: PreK-12 Strategy Revised recommendations include: Undergraduate reform: Honors Revised recommendations include: Undergraduate reform: Student Support Revised recommendations include: Undergraduate reform: Writing Revised recommendations include: