Strategic academic planning update

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp and Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Martin Berger

We hope your winter quarter is unfolding well. We write today with one of our regular updates on our strategic academic planning (SAP) effort, and to remind you of important upcoming events.

Through extensive engagement with the campus community, we have worked to identify the major academic themes that make UC Santa Cruz extraordinary. This outreach will continue through much of the quarter. Our consultants have already spoken with hundreds of campus leaders, faculty and staff members, and with a host of boards, associations and committees from on and off campus whose work is intertwined with our academic enterprise. All of us eagerly await the results of our faculty insights survey, which asked our Senate faculty to weigh in on the campus’ most promising existing and emerging areas of research. A future survey will solicit input from everyone on campus. We are committed to robust engagement with all those who have a stake in our academic mission.

Later this month, we will host a series of open forums to give faculty, staff, and students the chance to share ideas on, and ask questions about, the strategic academic planning process. Expect these events to be conversational and interactive.

To maximize attendance, we have scheduled seven forums, at various times and locations, over three days, Jan. 23-25. The when, where, and who-should-attend details of the various events can be found on our SAP website. We’re asking interested parties to RSVP by Jan. 22, so if you want more information about the process, or want to ensure that your ideas are heard and discussed, plan on attending!

Remember, there is also an online forum for the campus community to ask questions, make suggestions, and engage in debate. And, we have an email address and an electronic suggestion box already in place to gather your thoughts. Be assured that we read each and every comment and suggestion submitted and do our best to respond to all questions.

A reminder that notes from all forums and group meetings, past and future, are or will be posted on the website. There, you’ll also find a list of the people our consultants have interviewed, as well as all reports and surveys from this year’s academic-planning effort.

After the campus has an opportunity to weigh in on our most promising academic themes through the various forums, surveys, group meetings, and one-on-one interviews, we will establish a series of Themed Faculty Working Groups. Each group will bring together faculty interested in contributing to a themed area to strategize on how the targeted infusion of new resources, combined with the elimination of internal, structural barriers, would allow the area to thrive. We want the themes deemed most critical to the campus community to emerge organically, and then we want to understand what each group would need to best support its research and teaching.

By the close of February, we will complete the first stage, the information-gathering, of our work, which is foundational to the entire planning process. In March, the second phase will begin with a series of workshops and focus groups with campus constituents. At those events, we will work to encourage consensus around the academic themes on which we should build. A Future State Design workshop is being organized for the campus community on Tuesday, March 20, from 1:30-5 p.m., in 108 Digital Arts Research Center (DARC). We’ll post more details on the session when they are finalized. In the meantime, please mark your calendar to join the conversation.

We believe wholeheartedly in the power of UC Santa Cruz to leave a lasting impact on our students and on the world — and are committed to identifying and making the changes necessary to ensure this vital outcome. Please join us in this effort.