Summer “Time On”

June 6, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Summers have an unfair reputation for being “time off” on a university campus. Certainly the number of students and courses is greatly reduced, but the KU community is far from hibernating.

With so much work to do on the three major initiatives KU is engaged in — Bold Aspirations, Changing for Excellence, and Far Above — summer on campus is truly “time on.” The big transformation happening on campus continues to move forward, belying the reduced hustle and bustle on Jayhawk Boulevard.

With the first week of summer classes upon us, it is a perfect time to update our progress on two major aspects of Bold Aspirations — grant funding tied to the strategic initiative themes and the next steps in implementing KU Core.

Strategic initiatives funding deadline June 15!

In the previous Provost eNews in late April, we announced the new Research Investment Council and Strategic Initiative Grant program. The deadline to submit proposals for the initial level I grants is coming up soon — Friday, June 15. The membership of the Research Investment Council has been finalized and is available online.

A key aspect of our strategic plan Bold Aspirations is to boost research opportunities by building synergies around the strategic initiative themes. The new grant program is a tremendous opportunity to put into action the exciting conversations and interactions experienced during our four summits earlier in the academic year.

The funding through this program will be bottom-up — ranging from seed funding of initial collaborative efforts to major funding to facilitate large multidisciplinary research proposals. While the deadline for initial proposals is June 15, additional proposals will be sought in the fall and spring at four-month intervals, due on October 15 and February 15.

Progress on the KU Core

As the summer progresses, be sure to check online for all the latest updates on the KU Core, including a listing of the six core educational goals and their outcomes. By clicking on the individual goals, you can get a detailed description of the outcomes and criteria to meet that goal.

The transition committee has presented the definition and operating expectations of the newly-formed, university-wide Undergraduate Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC). They were vetted across campus, with the Faculty Senate, and ultimately approved by my office on May 14. Membership is being determined by the individual schools through elections this summer, after which a complete roster will be posted. The first meeting of the UCCC will be in August.

The next step in developing the KU Core is determining the courses and educational experiences that satisfy each of the outcomes, which is not a minor task. This summer, our able staff will identify the general education courses in the current curricula that are likely to meet the criteria of the KU Core. This list of courses to be included provisionally in the KU Core will be shared with the schools and departments offering the courses. With their permission, we will present these courses to the UCCC with a recommendation that they be fast-tracked into the Core. By fall 2014 departments must demonstrate that fast-tracked courses meet the requirements of the relevant goals and outcomes and have an approved assessment plan.

The UCCC will also accept submissions for other courses and educational experiences beginning in the fall 2012 semester. An online form will be available later this summer for submitting courses and educational experiences to be a part of the KU Core. All submissions will be expected to demonstrate how the learning outcomes will be met and how evidence of student learning will be assessed. More information on this process will be available on the KU Core website as the summer progresses.

Summer schedule

There will be a couple of extra editions of the Provost’s eNews over the summer to help keep tabs on the many exciting things happening around campus. In the coming weeks, look for detailed updates on Changing for Excellence and on the amazing new projects tied to Goal 4 of Bold Aspirations — Engaging Scholarship for Public Impact.

And while the university as a whole is still working hard, I know all of us will be taking some valuable time off individually to recharge this summer. Enjoy those summer vacations, Jayhawks!

Provost's Message Signature: 

Rock Chalk!
  -- Jeff

Jeffrey S. Vitter

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor

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