Curricular Team Response to Public Comments
The Curriculum Subcommittee found that the commentators’ comments reflect as much as anything the university community’s willingness to participate in curriculum reform. That so many commentators addressed curricular issues either directly or in more general response to the larger combination of committee reports suggests an engaged and forward looking community and, further, promises an expectation of real strategic planning followed by real implementation.
The comments seem to develop three distinct themes. First there is concern that the current plan is really not a plan at all; that it appears to be without clearly defined goals, outcomes, strategies, and so on. Second, while there is agreement that the faculty is and should be responsible for establishing these goals, outcomes, strategies, and so on, the current situation at Upper Iowa University is that most individual faculty members are already assigned more teaching and governance responsibilities than their counterparts at peer institutions; to expect faculty to embrace the responsibility of strategic planning without consideration of their current assignments and responsibilities is to invite potential gridlock and resistance even while such faculty may value the potential benefits of an effective strategic plan. Finally, there were comments suggesting some of the potential parameters of a final plan.
It is important to keep in mind at this point that the “public commentary” stage has been scheduled fairly early in the Strategic Planning Process in order to get a sense of the perceptions of others about the tentative direction in which UIU is headed. As we all know, and are coming to understand at even deeper levels, UIU is a complex global educational institution that has chosen to undertake two monumental tasks simultaneously—to reconfigure its overall organizational structure to result in what has been called “one flat seamless global campus” and to reconfigure, if necessary, its curriculum so that it can more effectively prepare global citizens who can function productively in the 21st century.
Upper Iowa is only at the beginning of the strategic planning process. The subcommittee sees the following as a useful outline for proceeding:
Vision Statement: Upper Iowa University will be recognized and respected as an exceptional and ascending institution of higher learning, developing global citizens who become lifelong learners prepared for leadership within society.
Step One--integration of existing expectations into the strategic plan to develop global citizens
Mandate-- Increase student populations at all locations 1. Define the expected growth in students for individual locations RU/EU/IU