Exciting times ahead for Strategic Academic Plan

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp

Our community’s truly insightful and innovative work has led us forward in strategic academic planning, and the astute insights and feedback will continue to shape both SAP and the future of this university. I am pleased to note that leadership of this process has transitioned to Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Herbie Lee.

We write today to provide an update on the three elements of the draft plan (PDF), and the evolving implementation plan.

Barrier Reduction. Our community was clear about the need to reduce internal obstacles to our innovative work. We are committed to tackling the areas you identified as barriers. Work launches this fall on two of the 10 high-priority barriers:

  1. Reduce team-teaching difficulties.
  2. Improving grant proposal procedures and faculty/researcher support from the Office of Sponsored Projects.

We remain committed to working on all the barriers over the next several years.

Academic Priority Areas. The three academic priority areas are at the core of how we will focus our academic renewal and growth, and will be one way to help a broader audience understand UCSC. We will grow our faculty around the academic priority areas and in other areas of need through requests made by our deans. There will be opportunities for funding other initiatives related to APAs as well. Finally, we have worked with our colleagues to develop detailed descriptions of these APAs:

Design Principles. We are awaiting feedback from our Academic Senate and other campus academic leadership on our proposed design principles, and how they should be prioritized. We anticipate a broader conversation this year with faculty, staff, and students on how best to define and embody these principles and implement our vision.

  1. Drive research and creative work that transform our world.
  2. Create enriching experiential learning and research opportunities for students.
  3. Engage and support a diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
  4. Support generative interdisciplinary connections to research and teaching.
  5. Expand excellence in innovation in areas distinctive to UC Santa Cruz, such as social justice, diversity, and sustainability.

Café SAP: Save the Date! VPAA Lee will host pop-up office hours for faculty, staff, and students to discuss the SAP. The first will be 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Music Center patio. Monthly pop-ups will move around campus. Our Coastal Science Campus and Scotts Valley location also will host pop-ups. Dates and locations will be shared as they become available. I plan to join Herbie on occasion to hear directly from the campus community. We invite all who are interested to come, to ask questions, or to simply share thoughts and comments.