The questions below were submitted in advance of the November 15, 2018, UM-Dearborn Conversations event and were not addressed in person. Answers to the questions may be found below.
What is the future of humanities/CASL? Foreign languages are a key item in a global education that has been diluted in the past years.
The humanities are a critical part of a student’s education. The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters recently acted to require all of its students to take a foreign language to complete their degree requirements. At the campus level, the Dearborn Discovery Core promotes a well-rounded student education by requiring students take at least six credits of Humanities and the Arts courses. Finally, our campus is a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities “LEAP” (Liberal Arts and America’s Promise) initiative, which is a program designed to help promote the value of liberal arts in higher education. As the campus embarks on its strategic planning discussions, faculty and staff will have many opportunities to help shape the path forward for humanities.
How can the university make the curriculum more nimble and less tied down to assessment apparatus?
The campus is continually working to make the curriculum management process more efficient. For example, the campus will be launching in January a new online curriculum management system that will help faculty in the curriculum development process. Assessment is an important effort as it helps faculty gauge if students are acquiring the knowledge and skills intended. By measuring performance against learning outcomes and examining the results, faculty are able to discern what strategies or techniques are working well and what needs to be changed or modified in a program.
Do you think we can see significant growth with our current degree offerings?
The curriculum at UM-Dearborn is consistently evolving. In the last academic year, the faculty created five new majors (one in CASL; three in CECS; and one in CEHHS) and modified 28 existing majors. As far as predicting additional growth, we are likely to see the creation of new degrees as our disciplines evolve in responding to important changes in the workplace and society.
Future of supplemental instruction at UM-Dearborn?
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an important part of UM-Dearborn’s academic success efforts. The Provost’s Office is in the process of evaluating many core components of what is often labeled as “student success” on our campus but believes that SI will continue to be a valued program in what we all do to help make students successful on our campus.
- Is there any consideration for mentorship programs with senior management and professional/support staff?
This is a great idea and our director of human resources will be evaluating this idea for consideration in this year’s training and development offerings.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a legal holiday. Why is UM-Dearborn not closed?
Although we do not have MLK Day as a university holiday at all three campuses, at UM-Dearborn, we encourage and make accommodations for all staff and faculty members to participate in our annual MLK Day of Service program.
- Will there be a change to the current budget model?
The budget model was designed to be flexible based on university needs moving forward. In fact, we have made two adjustments to the distribution model during the last six years based on variations in enrollment among the various colleges. As we move forward with our strategic planning process, adjustments could be made to the model based on identified top priorities or improvements in efficiency. We always work to align our financial resources with our top priorities.
- The mother of all questions we get from students — the future of on-campus parking?
Our Business Affairs team continues to monitor parking on campus and adjusts as needed. This year we have opened visitor parking for students, during our peak times, in the parking structure. We will also be expanding a few lots in the coming summer months. At this time, we have enough spaces for students, faculty and staff, but recognize that it is sometimes more difficult to find an open space. As such, available parking may not always be directly in front of the building desired, however our parking facilities have never reached capacity.
Would there be "lunch with chancellor" sessions like before to allow further conversations?
At this time there are no lunches scheduled. However, this and similar opportunities for me to engage with faculty and staff are being considered.
- What will the role of engagement and Carnegie Classification be in strategic planning?
In my previous position as provost at Delaware, I created a very successful Community Engagement Initiative. I believe that maintaining a commitment to the region and community we serve is very important. The role of community engagement will be addressed in strategic planning.
- The vision for civic engagement and what UM-Dearborn will be doing to be a leader in this work.
Please see above.
- Thoughts on expanding diversity, equity & inclusion on campus AND thoughts on transfer student recruitment and what can be done from an administrative level to form the appropriate partnerships necessary to move us forward and be a forerunner?
Efforts surrounding diversity, equity & inclusion are core principles of us conducting business on our campus. This will be a critical part of our upcoming strategic planning initiative. Efforts surrounding these initiatives are key to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
Transfer enrollment is a key factor to our success that we will address during the development of the Strategic Enrollment Management plan.
- What are the chancellor’s top 3 objectives that he wants to accomplish in his first year?
Continuing to learn from and develop relationships with the campus community including: students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders and other friends of the university.
The development of a campus strategic plan and Strategic Enrollment Management plan (including plans to improve retention and completion).
Promoting the image and reputation of the campus regionally and nationally and building relationships with alumni, supporters and donors.
- What do you see as the most pressing issues on this campus based on your first 100 days?
The most pressing issues are filling key leadership positions, the development of a Strategic Enrollment Management plan, enrollment growth (both undergraduate and graduate) and student retention and completion, and the creation of a campus strategic plan that will involve the entire campus community.