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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Workgroup on Curricular Opportunities

(This charge letter was sent to the members of the workgroup on October 15, 2020.) 

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the CLA Workgroup on Curricular Opportunities (WCO). 

The workgroup's charge is to think through curricular and programmatic opportunities for CLA. This list could include:

  • Opportunities that could provide inventive programs (e.g., minors or certificates) that span across departments or colleges that would be attractive for undergraduates in CLA or might be targeted outside CLA.
  • Post-baccalaureate possibilities (e.g., professional certificates around DEI or racial equity or analytics or health given the growing demand and interest in these areas).
  • Maintaining this year’s momentum of summer programming and enrollment. 
  • Making more complete use of our academic calendar through increased use of shorter courses. 
  • Three-year BA degrees (per request of the Provost). 
  • Degree completion for those who have left college. 
  • Untapped or underlapped opportunities within CLA for undergraduates (e.g., for those with an interest in business or entrepreneurship). 
  • Opportunities that distinctively leverage our location in Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
  • Other areas of interest to the committee members.

WCO is also charged to consider and recommend policies and processes that would help encourage the pursuit of new opportunities, as well as clearing away obstacles in our processes. These can include administrative procedures, revenue sharing, and other areas identified by the group. 

I discussed some of these issues in my State of the College address two years ago, and much has changed since then. One change of great significance, of course, is the transformation in faculty and department familiarity with teaching online or in distance formats. This change may open up some doors in our thinking that would have been more difficult a short time ago. If you would like to read what I had to say back then as background to your work, visit my State of the College 2018 address and scroll down to the section on “Flipping challenges to opportunities.” 

The work of WCO also directly grows out of and embraces the values of CLA as expressed in the preamble to our college Constitution

The members of the group are:

  • Lee-Ann Breuch, Chair and Professor, Department of Writing Studies
  • Elisia Cohen, Director and Professor, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication (Chair)
  • Christine DeLisle, Associate Professor, Department of American Indian Studies
  • Wendy Friedmeyer, Assistant to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, CLA Office of Research and Graduate Programs
  • Nanette Hanks, Assistant Dean for Curriculum, CLA Office of Undergraduate Education
  • Jamey Hansen, Chief Information Officer, Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services
  • Galin Jones, Director and Professor, School of Statistics
  • Ascan Koerner, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, CLA Office of Undergraduate Education
  • Steven Manson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, CLA Office of Research and Graduate Programs
  • Emily Ronning, Director of Enhanced Learning, Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services
  • Amelious Whyte, Director of Public Engagement, CLA Office of Institutional Advancement

Elisia Cohen has agreed to chair the group. Derk Renwick, Assistant to the CLA Chief of Staff, will provide staff support. Many thanks to Elisia and Derk. 

You should also feel free to invite other faculty or staff to join in on your meetings as appropriate and helpful. 

The tentative date for the workgroup's recommendations is Friday, March 5. However, I understand we are all working under unusual and stressful circumstances, so additional time can certainly be provided if needed. 

I know all the members of the workgroup are extremely busy and I deeply appreciate your taking the time to serve. All of you are strategic, creative, and entrepreneurial in your thinking, so I believe you will boost the conversations considerably.