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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Faculty revamp five-year strategy

    Miranda Joseph, associate professor of womens studies, speaks yesterday at the Faculty Senate meeting in the College of Law building.
    Miranda Joseph, associate professor of women’s studies, speaks yesterday at the Faculty Senate meeting in the College of Law building.

    The Faculty Senate’s final meeting of the fall semester centered around the UA Five-Year Strategic Plan, a vision of the university’s direction, after more than a year of effort in drafting the document.

    Miranda Joseph, chair of the strategic planning and budget advisory committee, was applauded yesterday for her work on the Plan, a 40-page document that charts a course for the maturation and development of the UA’s wide-ranging ambitions over the next six years.

    “”This document will guide resource allocation at the UA,”” Joseph said. “”It will be a meaningful document in that sense.””

    Arizona requires that state-funded agencies annually submit a five-year strategic plan, Joseph said. In the past, the UA had simply revised its strategic plan each year, leaving the backbone of the document intact.

    The new leadership of UA President Robert Shelton is what enabled the undertaking of rewriting the document from scratch, Joseph said.

    “”We did that this time primarily because we had a new president,”” he said. “”We thought it was a good opportunity to think with him, both to help him to elaborate on his vision (and) also to provide advice, as is our charge.””

    Among the initiatives presented in the document, special emphasis is placed on preparing more teachers, increasing enrollment and making available more need- and merit-based
    financial aid.

    The plan also highlights the need for graduate students prepared to function as contributing members of society in an increasingly interconnected world.

    Also recommended is additional attention to continuing world-class research in fields that improve the “”human condition,”” including climate, environment and water and energy sustainability.

    “”The overarching criterion, I think, from which the rest of this flowed, was that fact that we are a major public research university in a growing state,”” Shelton said.

    UA Provost Eugene Sander was pleased with the plan.

    “”Nothing happens without leadership,”” Sander said. “”When I first came on board as provost and I walked into my first (Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee) meeting and I saw a brand new chair (Joseph) and a huge organization, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, are we going to be able to get this done in a reasonable period of time?’ “”

    Sander commended the committee and its leadership, lauding members for taking the initiative to draw on the input of as many people as possible, at which point the room exploded with sustained applause.

    “”Traditionally, (the Strategic Plan) had no significance,”” said Wanda Howell, Faculty Senate chair and a nutritional sciences professor. “”We all feel as if we’ve had a part in designing the Strategic Plan,”” she said. “”For (the Faculty Senate) to be complimentary is pretty awesome.””

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