Office of the President
To: University of Vermont Staff
From: Daniel Mark Fogel, President
Date: October 31, 2006
Re: A Call to Engagement in the Future of The University of Vermont
I hope you will read the essay "Signatures of Excellence: UVM in the 21st Century" so that you can be part of a dialogue about the future of UVM. Staff members have been active, effective, and essential in moving UVM forward in recent years, and we need you to stay engaged. Examples abound: staff have been essential in the development of the physical campus and the daily care of the buildings and grounds in which we all take increasing pride; in launching programs ranging from the Honors College to our newest residential learning communities; in enrollment management; in the development of interdisciplinary research agendas around initiatives like the Vermont Advanced Computing Center, the National University Transportation Center, and translational research; in building the capacity of UVM computing, technology, and library resources to support our programs in teaching, research, and service; in the University’s outreach to the citizens of Vermont; and in fact in so many ways that draw upon your energy, commitment, brain-power, and creativity that any list like this is doomed to be full of glaring omissions. Suffice is to say that without our wonderful staff, the advance of the University over the course of the last few years would be unthinkable.
This is the UVM way. It is not enough to have a shared vision for UVM. We must make it real, and staff members are essential to that effort. I know that the ten pages of the essay will seem very long to some of our staff, students, and faculty. But because it has been written to intensify and accelerate efforts to attain our educational aspirations and vision for UVM, and because we need members of all of those groups to take active roles in this bold undertaking, we are sending it to everyone. I hope you will accept this call for participation.
The essay seeks to identify the foundations on which a UVM education will be built in the 21st century: principles that will stand the test of time and educational imperatives that provide a strategic framework within which to articulate and realize UVM’s distinct identity. As we did in the 2003 Vision Statement, we also describe what UVM might be like in ten years if the University develops along the lines envisioned here.
The document centers on the programmatic richness called for in the letters I sent to the campus last month. It has been shaped by a full year of dialogue that began with a discussion with the deans last fall in which we developed the proposed new Mission Statement for UVM that opens the essay, focused on development of “accountable leaders.” Dialogue continued with a two-day retreat for faculty, staff, and student leaders last January, and then with a similar, one-day retreat in June in which participants discussed an earlier draft of this essay.
In sum, the essay seeks to deepen and sharpen our expression,
expectations, and delivery of the educational experience at UVM. The retreat
in June was moderated by Faculty Senate President Justin Joffe, for the process
of curricular change must be faculty-centered, and the associated development
of outcomes assessment and of improved teaching and learning strategies will
necessarily be deliberative, with its primary locus in the Faculty Senate.
Always, we will be working toward one overarching goal: to be
the nation's premier small public research university, providing
a truly exceptional educational experience for every UVM student and an extraordinary
environment for the professional development of our faculty and staff. We
have no illusion that all the proposals in our essay will come out of the
dialogue unchanged or that some of them will even survive the ensuing conversation,
but we do have a very strong expectation that the process will lead to constructive
change along the broad trajectory of aspiration and value we have described.
Please read the executive summary even if you do not read the full essay.
Comments and suggestions may be addressed to me at email@example.com.
Last modified November 05 2006 09:23 PM