Future of the College
ONLY THE FACULTY OF THIS COLLEGE CAN CREATE AND CONTROL THE QUALITY OF OUR PROGRAMS
We must emphasize quality of the educational experience and we must strive to be the best world-class collegiate program emphasizing the stewardship of natural and managed environments and the sustainable use of their products and services.
We must provide world-class, internationally recognized knowledge and leadership for environmental and natural resource issues.
Using the unifying concept of environmental and resource sustainability, we have embarked on a transformation of the College but we are not yet finished.
We focus on the sustainability and functionality of complex natural resource and environmental systems using an interdisciplinary approach across multiple scales.
Our wide-ranging programs of teaching, research and outreach transcend our regional presence to attain global significance.
We must involve all members of the College community to help us fully realize this vision and continue to:
Progress on both activities is crucial to attaining the common vision we hold.
We must address these challenges and engage all members of the CFR community in creating solutions for meeting them.
The challenges we face exist not only in our disciplinary and professional fields but in our relationships to the University and within our College culture.
To be successful, we MUST -
The Provost recognized the hard work and energy we have devoted to strategic planning but he challenged us to do more and better with fewer resources.
1. Budget -
The anticipated state shortfall is $2-$2.5 billion to impact $7 billion in discretionary spending. While the state economy will recover, lost funding will not likely be restored - the legislative climate does not favor higher education.
The UW is planning for a cut at least as large as last year's 2% across-the-board cut. Many factors that impact the size of the potential budget cut are as yet unknown (i.e., the Governor's budget request; additional tuition increases (if any); health of the State economy).
UW leadership favors targeted and perhaps vertical cuts over horizontal cuts at this time. Horizontal cuts harm "stressed" programs disproportionately.
The Provost believes that CFR does not indicate the "stresses" that other programs display, in SCH or research activity.
We face an uncertain future with respect to the College's state funding.
UW enrollment is growing; the College enrollment is flat; the state budget is shrinking; CONCLUSION: the College budget will shrink.
In short, we must do more with less. We are certain that we will lose vacant faculty lines and we likely will face additional budget cuts.
The Provost envisions us as a smaller, better, more entrepreneurial College.
2. Structural Issues -
3. Response to Provost -
We will develop our responses to these issues and present them to the Provost for further consideration.
Working with the EFC we will explore and evaluate our options on all issues. We will also seek the advice of our staff and students. We must fully explore all reasonable possibilities.
We will recharge (and rename) the Undergraduate Curriculum Implementation Team. We must respond to the Provost's concerns and our reduced resource base. We will appoint a team to review and rationalize the graduate curricula and develop an integrated plan with the undergraduate curricula group. The outcome must be feasible given reduced resources.
We will ask the Chairs, Associate Deans, and faculty to take the lead in organizing our response to the Provost.
We will engage concerned parties in the development of a compelling argument for the retention of and recruitment for the ATI position.
The Director of College Lands position needs to be re-considered along with a new funding strategy.
4. Organizational Culture -
It is essential that we continue to focus on our core values in these tough times:
5. Mission/Vision/Goals -
Our recently affirmed College mission and vision statements are repeated below.
The College of Forest Resources is dedicated to generating and disseminating knowledge for the stewardship of natural and managed environments and the sustainable use of their products and services.
The College of Forest Resources will provide world-class, internationally recognized knowledge and leadership for environmental and natural resource issues.
Three-Year Goals (2002-2005)
6. Concluding Comments -
The College and University are under extreme budgetary pressure. While this alone does not account for the situation the College finds itself in, becoming more productive and efficient in meeting our teaching, research, and outreach goals will certainly help as we deal with reduced resources. I believe our challenge runs deep and is fundamental in nature. It is to transform and reenergize College programs while defining a new identity that better serves the University and our diverse clients. We must do this while preserving the core values of the University as well as our tradition as an outstanding leading edge College. We must remain a significant contributor to science-based knowledge related to the stewardship of natural and managed environments and the sustainable use of their products and services.
How we redefine our programs to meet current challenges while providing world-class, internationally recognized knowledge and leadership for environmental and natural resource issues is central to our near-term well being. Our programs focus on the sustainability and functionality of complex natural resource and environmental systems using an interdisciplinary approach across multiple scales. Our wide-ranging programs of teaching, research and outreach transcend our regional presence to attain global significance. We must continue to define our programs in this context and we must continue to foster closer ties to the programs in other campus units.
We must continue to provide high quality programs of study for undergraduate and graduate students seeking professional employment upon graduation as well as those seeking a broad scientific understanding of forest ecosystems and forest environmental and amenity services. We must continue to address our professional educational needs while simultaneously increasing our service teaching contributions.
To best prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow and/or to be well-informed citizens, our programs should:
By carefully examining what we do, how we do it, and how we fund our programs, I believe we will uncover entirely new ways to shape our undergraduate and graduate programs and accomplish our goals much more efficiently.
My challenge to the faculty, staff, and students of the College is to think outside of the box in helping to develop a strategy that responds to the issues raised above. When I meet with the Provost later this autumn, I will present a strategy for responding to his concerns. I ask for your help in crafting this plan.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean