ACROSS THE COMMONS > April 2011 issue home page
MESSAGE FROM THE PROVOST
As my first year as provost comes to a close, I'm reminded of a line by Abraham Lincoln: “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”
This attitude has prevailed throughout the year:
We have affirmed the centrality of academics in additional ways. Today we speak about "academic support units" rather than VP units — a subtle change that underscores the fundamental point that our academic support units enable the success of the colleges, which in turn, assist and sustain the success of our students.
More significantly, however, is that the centrality of academics will be evident in the budget proposal for the coming fiscal year. The proposal will include, first and foremost, compensation increases. We also will fortify our reserves, assure that we have the teaching capacity to meet enrollment projections, and make targeted investments to achieve the goals of Vision 2020.
Allow me to expand on two of the targeted investments.
True, reductions in state funding will challenge our ability to meet every area of need, but we see opportunities for revenue enhancement through gains in persistence and enrollment, and we strive to balance our budget with strategic reductions and expectations of reallocation.
Many of you have heard me say that Student Success is Our Success. To that end, we have reorganized the Office of Academic Affairs.
The reorganization has unified the leadership of our two major points of entry for many students — Summit and University colleges — under the direction of one dean. We are also in the process of converging the arts and sciences disciplines into the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences that will deliver the liberal arts, and as I like to think “the liberating” undergraduate education that all of our students need for their future success.
Finally, I am also encouraging faculty and administrative support for the formation of a new health college into which programs from the College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and Human Services, and from other colleges on campus would converge to unify and solidify the University’s regional and national presence in the education of health care professionals.
I end my first year invigorated by our accomplishments and energized by the opportunities ahead. Foremost is Vision 2020, our strategic plan, which reflects our collective, best thinking about how to create a brighter future for our students, our region and ourselves. Vision 2020 will boost our trajectory, elevate our stature on a national and international scale, and empower us to set a New Gold Standard in University Performance.
It is a great time to be at The University of Akron.
William M. "Mike" Sherman
Senior Vice President and Provost
Chief Operating Officer
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