Dear Research Directors and Program Leaders
Our College faces challenging times in the coming months as a result of a series of factors : a) a smaller state operating budget appropriation as our economy contracts, b) change in leadership of our College, c) reductions in state and federal research funding caused by the on-going downturn in the economy, d) possible reduction in the operating account income from our endowments, e) the possibility of a new performance-based budget model for the UW, and f) possible alignment with the College of the Environment. All of these factors have the potential to adversely disrupt our operations and programmatic activities and generate considerable uncertainty within our College. Given the above, I believe we must redouble our efforts to closely examine all facets of our College's fiscal and programmatic health.
Therefore, I believe it is appropriate that we closely examine the fiscal health and future strategic vision for each of our centers, cooperatives and research-based programs. While I do not intend to undertake a formal review of our center directors as defined in Section 12-28 of the UW Handbook, I ask that each of you prepare a detailed plan that looks out five years and clearly articulates your future research program, financial resources, space and facility requirements, and human resources (including future leadership). Please define your unit's strategic vision within the framework of the College's strategic direction as reflected in our newly updated strategic plan. I do not expect these documents to exceed 8-10 pages in length although supplementary materials may be included in appendices as needed..
Following receipt of all reports, I intend to appoint an ad hoc review committee, made up of faculty and staff, who will advise me on actions required to place all of our centers, cooperatives and research programs in the best possible position to ensure future sustainability in an uncertain decision environment. I would like your reports by December 15, 2008. Thanks and best wishes.
B. Bruce Bare Dean and Professor