This Week's Message
As we end the spring term and the academic year, I would like to thank you for all of your hard work and extra effort over the last several months. You have selected an excellent new dean, investigated and approved curricular reorganization, and implemented programs such as Senior Inquiry and Augie Choice.
As we move forward with these new ventures, it is important to reflect on what we have accomplished and what it means for the future of Augustana. Last year at this time, I posed a few questions to you. I'd like to briefly return to those questions with a few added thoughts:
- What do we expect of each other as faculty? How can we honor our unique and diverse talents and interests while working together on our common mission?
- We can and should find ways to acknowledge our many passions. For example, two weeks ago over 70 faculty members from seven colleges gathered for our "Making Learning Visible" conference. Many of our faculty shared approaches and strategies from their teaching and exchanged ideas with other participants.
- This Thursday at 4:45, members of the Augustana Board of Trustees will join faculty in the Tredway Library for a Celebration of Scholarship, an occasion to highlight scholarly accomplishments.
- What do we expect of our students and how can we articulate those expectations? How do we build learning experiences that demonstrate value?
- As we work to reduce and restructure our programs, we will be challenged to clearly define our outcomes and consider how they can be realized in our new curriculum. We can capitalize on the challenge by planning many innovative and different learning opportunities outside the constraints of the traditional classroom.
- The new IDEA form coupled with many of our existing strategies for evaluating the student experience should assist us in further enhancing our offerings.
- The strategic bridge plans calls for us to focus more on mentoring and advising so that students can connect and articulate the richness of an Augustana education.
- What is on our horizon? For what do we need to prepare and how can that be done?
- While we are realigning our curriculum, we will also need to start preparing for our next review by the Higher Learning Commission. With the recent federal interest in "seat time," the HLC will be inspecting the choices that we make. It is imperative to be thoughtful and thorough in our deliberations.
- Resources for higher education will continue to be strained. Funding from federal and state sources is not reliable which will call upon us to be flexible and creative in meeting the needs of our students.
The next few years will be a time of change. I am confident that with Pareena's leadership and the goodwill and consistent involvement of this faculty the next decade in Augustana's history will be one marked by a new vision and renewed energy.
Thanks for a good year.