August 7, 2001

To CFR Community:

It is clear that we need to make substantial progress related to two inter-related management tasks over the next few months: 1) strategic thinking and 2) organizational culture. Consistent action on both tasks is necessary for us to move the College forward, achieve our goals and prosper within the University and the region.

1. Strategic thinking simply means that all members of the CFR community must think of our common mission, vision, goals, and themes as they contemplate decisions regarding the future programmatic direction of their respective work units. Strategic thinking is not a process that is owned by the College Planning Committee, the Deans' Office, the divisional chairs or the center directors. Instead, it is grass roots thinking that must be embraced by as many people within our community as possible. We have no particular "model" in mind, we simply request that everyone, to the best of their ability, embrace our vision and work towards the achievement of our common goals.

With the aid of the College Planning Committee, the CFR Advisory Board and President McCormick's CFR Directions Committee, we believe we are well positioned to reinvigorate the College strategic thinking process. Actions to re-staff the College Planning Committee are almost complete, but we still need to fill some at-large staff and faculty positions. Please send suggested names to me as soon as possible, but no later than August 28 so Committee membership can be finalized. The College Planning Committee is working to re-start the annual work planning process and to weave the concept of sustainability into our College thinking at all levels.

2. Organizational culture simply means the commitment of the CFR community to implement the College's strategic vision in a way that honors all members of the community. Without the proper culture we will be unsuccessful in achieving our common vision and goals. Work to improve the culture of our community is the responsibility of every one of us. As your Acting Dean, I assume personal responsibility for setting a good example by striving to recognize and reward those who best exemplify commitment to our common purpose. As stated in our July 10, 2001 statement of CFR's vision, we believe that all members of our community should embrace the personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, openness, fairness and inclusiveness. We need to improve our working environment so that all viewpoints are respected and tolerated. While we can disagree on important matters, we need to do so in a civil and respectful manner. Once decisions are taken we need to put our differences aside and work towards our common goals.

With the aid of the College Work Place Quality Committee, we will initiate new efforts to improve our organizational culture. The Committee was initially formed in 1996 as the Ethics Committee, but was renamed in 1997. We need to re-staff the Committee with a wide variety of staff, faculty and students. Aside from selected individuals whom I will appoint, I am seeking nominations for filling additional positions on the Committee. Please send suggested names to me as soon as possible, but no later than August 28 so Committee membership can be finalized. The Work Place Quality Committee will be charged with developing and implementing programs and processes to ensure an improved work environment within our community.

3. It is our expectation that the College Planning and the Work Place Quality Committees will be driving forces for ensuring that the College consistently works to implement strategic thinking within the proper organizational culture. Both tasks are intertwined and must be endorsed throughout the College if we are to be successful in achieving our goals and the proper recognition we deserve within the University and the region. I am asking all divisional chairs, center directors and work unit leaders to endorse these two elements as they work with their respective colleagues in weaving the concept of sustainability into their future programmatic plans.

B. Bruce Bare, Acting Dean

To Return to:Prof Bare's Page, Dean's Office, College of Forest Resources