Undergraduate Academic Affairs

October 16, 2009

Message from the Vice Provost and Dean, Oct 2009

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Dear UAA Colleagues,

In this message are some things I’ll want to draw your attention to that will impact our work in the coming year.

You’ll hear a lot of conversation about activity based budgeting as a model we may be moving toward. The primary purpose of this model is to bring more transparency to how budget decisions are made and to find more efficient ways of allocating resources on campus.

A second initiative and related is the “two years to two decades” initiative President Emmert and Provost Wise have asked us to embark upon. The purpose of the “two years to two decades” conversation will be to look at the University model and a business model within the next two years and through the next two decades. In effect, we return to the question, “Who do we want to be as an institution and what foundation is necessary for us to get there?”

There will be a number of discussions about both of these initiatives. How does it impact our work? We will want to continue to look at where we can be efficient in our work and where we need to expand. The exciting moment for Undergraduate Academic Affairs is that much of the focus and much of the attention of the coming year and the coming years will be related to the undergraduate experience. A movement toward higher tuition and higher undergraduate enrollment will call on us to find even more ways—innovative, efficient, effective, and creative ways—to serve students on our campus.

I’d also like to draw your attention to potential moves within Mary Gates Hall that will bring our work with students closely aligned with our colleagues in the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and Student Life. Plans are being formulated to co-locate academic advising, experiential learning, academic programs in the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, and academic support, in order to take significant steps towards a comprehensive experience for our students.

Nana Lowell and Cathy Beyer and OEA staff have worked diligently on University accreditation, and we can expect in the next two years and the next two decades to lead and innovate in classroom technology and learning environments.

I want to acknowledge Grant Kollet, Becky Francoeur, and Namura Nkeze for their efforts in assessment of Freshman Interest Groups. Indeed Freshman Interest Groups are the first step into the University for many of our freshman and transfer students. The research is clear that students who are engaged on campus have a richer academic experience, a richer social experience, and a deeper interpersonal experience. The leadership of our First Year Programs staff has been outstanding.

We’ll miss Stan Chernicoff at next week’s Fall Kick Off as he and some Dream Project students will be in New York City preparing for their presentation at the National College Board meetings. We’re proud of them and wish them well.

What I appreciate most about you as colleagues in Undergraduate Academic Affairs is that I see leadership manifest in your work and in your actions in countless ways. Let’s continue to work together to make the University of Washington undergraduate experience the best that there is in the country.

Ed Taylor's Signature
Ed Taylor
Vice Provost & Dean