SAP: Academic priority areas and oversight

With fall quarter in full swing, I'm delighted to provide this brief update about our Strategic Academic Plan.

Academic priority areas

Our academic priority areas provide themes around which we will organize faculty research collaborations and initiatives. The APAs highlight where UC Santa Cruz does cutting-edge disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and where we can, and do, lead the world. They also provide another means for faculty across all of our divisions to connect. While we may not have the ability, like some universities, to hire 20 faculty in a single area, we can have 20 faculty members in a range of disciplines whose work in an area is mutually supportive, which collectively elevates the impact of all their efforts. Moreover, when hiring in these areas, new faculty will enter with a group of colleagues from across the university who are poised to be potential partners. This amplification of our work internally and externally is the reason we will prioritize proposed hires that support one or more APAs.

Since my Oct. 5 update, I have clarified the role of the APA faculty leadership teams. They have been asked to focus only on hiring, helping identify complementary faculty hires across disciplines, departments, and divisions to influence the decanal hiring requests that will be submitted in early winter quarter.

Academic oversight committee

The Academic Oversight Committee, a predominantly faculty group that grew from last year's Academic Advisory Committee, is planning to examine current efforts within their respective divisions that support the SAP's Design Principles. I want to recognize the great work that is already happening on our campus to support the principles that our faculty, staff, and students all enthusiastically supported.

SAP brochure

In the near future, and with the support of the Senate, I plan to distribute a brochure about our SAP design principles, academic priority areas, and barrier reduction. This brochure is meant to reach all faculty and staff, and will be a helpful and digestible overview of the plan and where we're headed. The SAP is a vision for our shared future, and we must all be engaged.

Café SAP

I hope you'll join Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Herbie Lee at our next Café SAP, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Jack Baskin Engineering Courtyard. All interested faculty, staff, and students are invited to stop by, ask questions, or simply share their thoughts about the SAP. Please drop in!


As always, I welcome your SAP-related questions or concerns. Feel free to email me or Herbie at