A Message From Academic Affairs
Welcome back! I hope that the long spring break brought added time for rest and reflection. We have much important business before us for the spring term, including conversations sponsored by the Senate on committee structure and other important matters, in particular the likely effect of the economic downturn on Augustana in the years ahead.
I attended a meeting on the budgeting in tough economic times with other deans from across the country last week; many of our peer institutions are facing double digit budget cuts in the next year alone. We are fortunate to be in a strong position entering this downturn, but together we will need to make some difficult decisions.
I will speak with the Senate at its upcoming meeting about budget planning for the academic program, and I anticipate further budget talks for all faculty to discuss plans. Likewise, of course, I will continue conversation with department chairs, Faculty Welfare and the Senate Steering Committee.
I am grateful for the hard work that faculty across the campus are doing to ensure that we recruit a great class of new students and that we continue to have record retention numbers of current students. These are among the most important factors in our budget for next year and they are the factors most controlled by faculty.
I am delighted to announce that Margaret Farrar joins Academic Affairs as of today as Associate Dean. I am so grateful to Margaret for joining us earlier than she had planned; she is an excellent administrator who brings valuable experience to our office. Please join me in congratulating Margaret.
As you know, I have been working to ensure that administrative offices take the brunt of any budget cuts for next year. I wanted to let you know of some of the restructuring that will follow from that. Our office will not, for now, replace Michael Green as he departs. As part of the restructuring that will result, Margaret Farrar, Bob Haak and I will take over some of the work Mike has been doing. I am also delighted to announce that Jon Clauss has agreed to serve as Director of the Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning, which was a large part of Mike's responsibility. I am confident in the team that we have in place for next year, and I would welcome your thoughts about ways in which our office can best support faculty in their work.