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Bob Bruininks speaking at a podium

President Bruininks, above, is determined to put the task force recommendations into action once they're approved, so they don't "merely sit on a shelf."

Celebrating success

Big changes coming at the U

May 16, 2006

Last week, the University celebrated a two-year effort to create a vision and a plan that will change the course of its history. With good food and flowers on the tables, the U thanked the people who spent countless hours working to make that vision--to become one of the top three public research universities in the world within 10 years--a reality.

Although the basic mission of the U hasn't changed--it will still focus on teaching, research, and public engagement--the University will now up the ante with a new emphasis on excellence in everything it does. And being among the top three also means it must devote itself to things like an international outlook and curriculum, embracing an even more diverse student body, and further improving the way it manages its finances and resources. "I don't think we can be a great University system unless we pay attention to our academic purpose and how we organize our time and resources," said President Bob Bruininks in his remarks to those at the party.

To figure out how to become a top-three world-class institution, 34 task forces met over the past 12 months to develop strategies for integrating colleges, forging new honors and writing programs, and improving faculty and staff cultures to make them as healthy as possible. All the task forces have submitted their recommendations and they can be read at the Transforming the U Web site.

"These task force recommendations are not going to merely sit on a shelf," said Bruininks. "They are already helping set the University's priorities...and they will continue to shape our work as Minnesota's main research university."

University leaders have begun implementing recommendations and will continue to evaluate them to identify key initiatives that will increase the ranking and reputation of the U.

"These task force recommendations are not going to merely sit on a shelf," said Bruininks. "They are already helping set the University's priorities--through our compact process and our annual budget, for example--and they will continue to shape our work as Minnesota's main research university."

To read more about the task force reports and the U's process to transform itself, see the following articles:

Regents approve biomedical initiative to move the U among the top three public research universities

Bruininks delivers State of the U

Reaching the top three

Helping to make the U more accessible