CALS redesign: Departmental plans outline path for college’s future

At the end of December, all CALS’s academic departments submitted five-year plans delineating departmental strategies in the following areas:

Goal 1: Strengthen the Research Portfolio
Goal 2: Strengthen Academic Programs
Goal 3: Strengthen Extension Programs and Outreach Activities
Goal 4: Foster Diversity and an Inclusive Climate
Goal 5: Strengthen Advancement Activities
Goal 6: Enhance Administrative, Service and Governance Efficacy
Goal 7: Enhance Collaboration on Shared Priorities
Goal 8: Increase Revenue Generating Activities

The development of departmental five-year plans was recommended by the CALS Organizational Redesign Committee. The plans support the college’s five-year overall goals to:

  • Increase undergrad enrollments to 4,000 students by 2023
  • Grow faculty numbers by 10% by 2023
  • Reduce the number of majors, while increasing the reach, impact and quality of those we offer
  • Optimize the number of departments based on shared priorities

Adding the projections from each departmental plan yields these compiled totals:

Current (FY18) 2023 combined goal Percentage increase
Research portfolio: grant expenditures $44M $55M 25%
Academic programs: enrollments 3,177 4,230 33%
Academic programs: Degrees 1,026  1,360 33%
Academic programs: credits follow instructor 63,500 76,000 20%
Academic programs: summer session revenues $1.4M $2.2M 57%

Individual plans include a number of proposals for new courses—including those online and offered during summer session—research collaborations, outreach programs, professional degree programs and initiatives to strengthen diversity and equity. One example of a commonly mentioned department project was conducting a climate survey, so CALS Human Resources is exploring the possibility of administering a college-wide survey.

The CALS Dean’s Office has reviewed all of the five-year plans and is in the process of discussing them with departments in their annual meetings. After each meeting, Dean VandenBosch will send a letter to departments outlining next steps, to-do items and feedback for the department to consider when revising the five-year plan for next year. The plans are considered living documents and are expected to be updated annually.

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