Months of discussion and data collection may have come to a close, but as the first phase of work is wrapped up discussions are under way for the next steps in the strategic assessment of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In a March 23 report to the Board of Trustees, Dr. Rosemary Haggett, Main Campus provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, outlined not only data that had been collected, but also some of the findings of what she described as a “visioning exercise” for the college.
Noting the need to delve deeper in the data, Haggett showed graphic illustrations of how UT compares to other colleges of arts and sciences in Ohio, as well as between peer universities UT aspires to compete against.
“In some areas, we compare quite well, in others we do not,” Haggett noted. “What we need to do now is to develop action plans for the areas we wish to improve upon and work hard to achieve those goals.”
According to the report titled “Identity, Vision and Strategy: A Planning Context for The University of Toledo’s College of Arts and Sciences” from the Learning Alliance, the external group UT partnered with to undertake the assessment, participants in a pair of intensive roundtable discussions essentially want the college to be recognized as an integrative hub of the University, as all undergraduate students take courses in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“All undergraduate students pass through the college at one time or another,” Haggett said. “These courses are part of their major’s curriculum. The College of Arts and Sciences can provide them an integrative learning experience. “
In distilling down the discussions from the roundtable discussions, the Learning Alliance identified five “thematic areas of focus.” These are:
• Re-conceive the definitions of scholarship, and recast the academic reward system to make possible a more balanced recognition of scholarly achievement;
• Recast the curriculum to address evolving learning needs, both in the major and in general education;
• Rethink and revise teaching modalities (including advising) to bring about more effective learning;
• Devise new approaches to the use of space; and
• Strengthen the college’s programs of graduate education.
Haggett told the board she will work with the steering committee that oversaw this process and the College of Arts and Sciences leadership and faculty to develop action plans to begin addressing the identified areas of focus. The board’s academic affairs committee will receive regular updates as work progresses.
In other action, the board approved:
• Sabbatical leave for 27 faculty members;
• The concept of converting the Scott Park Campus into an alternative energy learning hub; and
• Honorary degrees for Sam Abell, a Sylvania native who is a world-renowned photographer; Eugene Kranz, a Toledo native who was the flight director on shift when an explosion crippled Apollo 13 and helped get the crew back to Earth safely; Dr. DavidEaglesham, vice president for technology at First Solar; and Dr. Norman Johnston, chief executive officer and president of McMaster Energy Enterprises.