When we met in early January, we discussed our revised College mission and vision statements along with our three-year goals and six-month objectives. At that time, I indicated that minor modifications in these statements were under consideration and would be circulated prior to final approval. I also indicated that a revised statement of our core values was under development and would be presented at a later date. Following the January faculty meeting I met separately with College staff and students. Based upon the discussion at all three meetings and the recent meeting of the CPC, I propose that the College use the following to guide its strategic thinking:
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 through teaching, research, and outreach.
The College of Forest Resources will provide internationally recognized knowledge and leadership for environmental and natural resource issues.
THREE YEAR GOALS:
1. Attract and retain the highest quality staff, students and faculty.
2. Build and upgrade facilities and laboratories, especially Merrill Hall and the Northwest Environmental Forum.
3. Achieve stable College leadership.
4. Improve the organizational culture.
5. Broaden and increase financial support.
The College's six-month objectives are available for review.
Note: The dates for achieving some six-month objectives are subject to modification as events unfold. Updates will be made to keep the document current.
The College's Work Place Quality Committee recently proposed a revised set of core values for College adoption. These were discussed at meetings of both the College Management Council and the CPC. I propose that we use the following core values:
Description -- Say what you mean, mean what you say, do what you say you will: honest, clear and complete expression of what you (whether individual/group/institution) plan to do, factors that affect the decision or action, stages and processes in implementation, and anticipated or actual outcomes. Communicate to engage: Ask clarifying questions; make sure that all parties to an interchange are on the same page. Debate and analyze ideas, never attack people or ridicule their ideas. Provide opportunities for two-way conversations about issues and for input on decisions; create ways that people can see what happened to their ideas.
Description -- Treat all ideas as worth considering and all people as having worth, no matter what their position in the college or life. Provide all members of the college the authority appropriate to their responsibility (the freedom to do the job) and a supportive and responsible environment. Strive for truthfulness as a way of life, so that colleagues and customers can have confidence and trust in our words and deeds. Feel free to ask for help when needed.
Description -- Responsibility (personal, group, institutional) for one's own words, actions, commitments, results, owed to colleagues, students, and other clients. This includes the dual responsibility both to support and promote good ideas and to accept remediation or defeat of those not strong enough to survive.
The full report of the Work Place Quality Committee is available for review.
The College developed two strategic themes focused around the concept of sustainability that serve as an integrating mechanism for its education, research and outreach programs:
The first theme envelops resource utilization and the management of land and water resources in natural and managed environments. It includes traditional and nontraditional forest-based goods and services, along with the social, economic, biological, and physical impacts of sustainable practices. The second theme centers on the resolution of conflicts among competing human and natural resources values arising from a growing, urbanizing world population evident, for example, in the increasing number of conflicts over land use, wild fires and wildlife in the rural-urban interface, and restoration of degraded landscapes.
The key unifying theme of sustainability brings an interdisciplinary set of social, ecological, and economic sciences and skills to bear in understanding, managing (including restoring and preserving), and using the products and amenities of forests, wild lands, and urban and suburban ecosystems so that they are maintained in a healthy, productive state over the long term. Under the umbrella of sustainability, the College utilizes three integrating metrics: 1) ecological sustainability, 2) economic sustainability, and 3) social sustainability. All College programs are expected to directly relate to the support of these components in measurable ways developed in goal-setting, performance measures, and work planning activities.
We continue to endorse and refine our use and understanding of the concept of sustainability as a focal point for our College. A 2-5 page white paper is under preparation and will be shared with the entire College community. The purpose of the paper is to clearly communicate how we intend to use sustainability to help us define the future of the College. More importantly, the paper describes how sustainability provides the intellectual underpinning of our academic mission. Look for this in your inbox in a few weeks.
Progress continues on the design and specification of our new undergraduate curriculum in environmental science, design and resource management. I am aware of the significant amount of time and energy many of you have devoted to this activity over the last few months. I also realize that it is difficult for many to accept that we must change what we have become accustomed to doing in order to ensure future success. Yet, if we do not modify our curricula to meet the future challenges we will surely fail the citizens and tax payers of Washington. I remain confident that we will rise to the occasion and produce a new curriculum that will be the envy of the entire country; that we will find a way to consolidate and integrate in order to gain efficiency of delivery without losing sight of our historical roots; that we will show the UW community that we know how to educate students to sustainably provide environmental services while simultaneously sustaining an array of natural resource goods and services from our urban ecosystems as well as our rural forested lands; and that the College deserves to be the recognized academic leader for sustainable stewardship and management of natural resources and environmental services. I look forward to continuing discussions of how our new curriculum will achieve these goals.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean