I write to invite your thoughts and comments on a proposed realignment of administrative support for postbaccalaureate education at the University. This realignment is in response to feedback from numerous faculty, staff, and students. The details of the proposed model are informed by conversations and analyses over the last two years, as well as by the work of the Special Committee on Graduate Education, which was convened in fall 2013 by the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) and me.
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Valery E. Forbes as dean of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) at the University of Minnesota, effective July 31, pending approval of the appointment and tenure by the Board of Regents in February.
Over the past few years, as new technology has created new pedagogical opportunities, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) provosts have been engaged in sustained discussion about the importance of managing within the academy access to new learning objects, or teaching content, as well as data about student behavior and performance, rather than ceding—perhaps through inattention—control of these academic matters to commercial entities.
I am pleased to announce Dr. Danita Brown as our new Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, effective July 31, 2013, pending approval by the Board of Regents in June. I am delighted that Danita has accepted my invitation to lead the Office for Student Affairs, and I look forward to working with her to maintain and enhance the excellence of student affairs at the University of Minnesota.
While spring break may be a chance for some of our students to get away, I know many of us have used this time to catch up and to get ready for the rush toward the end of the semester. Still, I hope last week provided you with a sense of refreshment and renewal.
As the semester comes to a close, I want to share with you information about some organizational changes and additions to the Office of the Provost that will help us better serve our constituents and further advance the University's academic goals. These changes—which take effect on January 1, 2013 and relate to the Provost's senior staff, support staff, and educational support units—come as a result of new units transitioning to the provost's office and after a thorough assessment of office responsibilities and personnel needs.
Since arriving back on campus this past February, I have spent much of my time meeting with you, listening to your ideas and concerns, and seeing firsthand the remarkable work being done across this great University. Before we are caught up in the hectic last weeks of the semester, I wanted to take a moment to share a bit about what I've learned and where I am focusing my attention over the next several months.