Spring 2013 Implementation Progress

Fall 2012 Updates


Goal 1 | Energizing the Educational Environment

Strengthen recruitment, teaching, and mentoring to prepare undergraduate students for lifelong learning, leadership, and success

Strategy 1-A: Establish a new KU core curriculum for all undergraduate students

  • Visit kucore.ku.edu for detailed information on the six KU Core goals, approved courses and experiences, and the nomination process for submitting courses and experiences for inclusion.
  • The University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) approved 486 course-learning outcome matches for the KU Core Curriculum during the Fall 2012 semester.
  • The UCCC approved a First Year Seminar (FYS) course option for academic units. Courses in the FYS program meet the KU Core’s critical thinking requirement.
  • After gathering and evaluating campus feedback, the UCCC recommended revising the options for meeting the culture and diversity goal of the KU Core. The proposed revision would ensure that KU undergraduates study U.S. diversity as well as diversity within and among worldwide cultures.
  • The UCCC reviewed and offered feedback on the policy statement that establishes the KU Core for all new students and provides options for continuing and transfer students. This policy was approved and is now available in the policy library.
  • A working group of the Advising Leadership Team is developing recommendations for communicating critical elements of the KU Core with advisors and students.
  • One-on-one discussions with department chairs and group meetings with department members have allowed information about the KU Core to be shared with faculty and for concerns to be aired.
  • The schools and College offering undergraduate degrees have worked or are working to incorporate the KU Core curriculum into their degree specific requirements.
  • Student Information Systems is developing the necessary programming to track the progress of students through the KU Core requirements.
  • Updates to the on-line Undergraduate Catalog relating to the new KU Core requirements are being developed.

Strategy 1-B: Strengthen the pipeline of undergraduates to and through KU

  • The development of KU Core ‘Opt-In’ and ‘Opt-Out’ advising processes are nearing completion for new and current students. This will enable academic advisors to assist current freshmen students with choices regarding a more flexible curriculum, possibly allowing for increased opportunities with major and degree exploration. Depending on previous coursework completed, advisors will also assist new transfer students throughout the next two years regarding their options to remain in the KU Core or to revert to the Pre-KU Core degree requirements.
  • Targeted academic advising and instructional strategies have been developed to assist conditionally admitted students. This includes accommodating expanded student obligations for advising sessions and enrollment in PRE 101, a course designed to help students experience a smooth transition to KU.
  • Progress has been made towards clearly defining a policy for the transition of students from the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), the academic unit maintaining the largest student enrollment at KU. Currently students often choose between advising resources in the UAC and those in CLAS academic departments due in large part to ambiguity or unfamiliarity with processes. Following the spring 2013 semester students will be provided with clarity and direction regarding the appropriate academic advising resource. This should assist towards establishing an earlier connection to the major once the student is prepared to transition.

Strategy 1-C: Invest in first-year intellectual experiences

  • The Office of First-Year Experience was established to oversee Orientation, Hawk Week, Hawk Days, KU Common Book, First-Year Seminars, and Learning Communities. These programs utilize the umbrella theme Discover. Engage. Belong.
  • The University launched the first KU Common Book, Notes from No Man’s Land, a collection of essays by Eula Biss. All incoming students received a copy of the book at orientation. Fall 2012 activities included small group discussions during Hawk Week, a visit by the author, and programs in collaboration with the Spencer Museum of Art and other campus partners. A new committee has been charged with expanding the program based on assessment information and to develop programming for the 2013-2014 KU Common Book, The Worst Hard Time by Tim Egan.
  • First-Year Seminars will expand to 20 sections in fall 2013. First-Year Seminars are 3-credit hour, discussion-based courses designed for freshmen. They are taught by faculty and focus on thought provoking and innovative topics that capitalize on the faculty member’s expertise. The University Core Curriculum Committee approved First-Year Seminars for the critical thinking goal and learning outcome for the KU Core. A faculty committee within the Office of First-Year Experience oversees the selection of First-Year Seminars. A subset of this group combined with staff from the Office of First-Year Experience oversees the assessment of the courses and program.
  • The Office of First-Year Experience has convened a workgroup to review PRE 101, KU’s Orientation Seminar. This workgroup will recommend improvements to the course based on the KU Core and new First-Year Experience initiatives.
  • The Office of First-Year Experience will launch 5 pilot learning communities in fall 2013 with the help of campus partners. Each learning community has as its foundation a First-Year Seminar or a section of PRE 101.
    • One learning community will provide support for new veteran undergraduate students.
    • Two living learning communities will focus on the topic of sustainability. These learning communities will be open to new first-time freshmen. Students who participate in a sustainability living community will reside in Gertrude Sellards Pearson Residence Hall.
    • Two living learning communities will focus on the topic of exploring visual culture. These learning communities will be open to new first-time freshmen and do not include a residential living requirement.
  • The Office of First-Year Experience will convene a workgroup in spring 2013 to develop an institutional plan for the expansion of learning communities.

Strategy 1-D: Enhance experiential learning opportunities

  • The Collaborative for Experiential Learning is composed of representatives from the following units: the Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Study Abroad, International Programs, University Career Center and the Center for Undergraduate Research with the goal to develop, expand and promote experiential learning on campus. It is also work works closely with the Office of First-Year Experience to connect students to opportunities for experiential learning as part of their KU education.
  • A website for the Collaborative to share information on experiential learning opportunities at KU was developed: www.experience.ku.edu. Future updates will be available in Spring 2013.
  • The Collaborative serves as a clearinghouse to support educational experiences at KU, create a tracking system for students and oversee assessment of experiential learning activities. The Collaborative reviews experiential learning proposals and forwards approved experiences to the University Core Curriculum Committee for inclusion in the KU Core.
  • The Collaborative is developing a protocol the tracking and awarding of the undergraduate certificate programs. The twin goals are to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in recruiting students to these programs and to increase the number of students completing the undergraduate certification programs.

Strategy 1-E: Redesign courses to enhance student learning

  • The Bay View Alliance grant application to enhance a culture of improved teaching and learning was funded in 2012.
    • In June 2012, a group from KU attended a Bay View Alliance workshop on undergraduate education reform at the University of Texas, Austin.
    • In October 2012, KU hosted a Bay View Alliance workshop to consider contemporary approaches to changing teaching culture, teaching practices, and improved approaches to scientific literacy.
  • A grant proposal to NSF for additional post-doctoral students, who will turn Bay View Alliance concepts into action, was submitted with KU as a lead for the Bay View Alliance.
    • The grant would allow us to work with five other research universities to share evidence.
    • There will be ongoing face-to-face and virtual meetings of post-doctoral students and faculty.
  • The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL) coordinated workshops on course redesign that were offered in spring 2012: six courses planned for redesign on small scale for AY 12-13. The workshops will continue in spring 2013 with 15 instructors who will initiate the redesign process. Half the courses will be on campus hybrid courses and the other half will be fully online.
  • CODL has provided direct instructional design support to more than 70 faculty members and has partnered to develop 14 new online and hybrid courses.
  • CTE has 3-year Spencer grant to develop faculty capacity to use assessment data that will inform course and curricular redesign as well as investigate changes in attitude toward documenting learning university-wide.
  • In spring 2013, CTE will hire a new staff member to help document student learning at all levels in the university. This person will serve as a consultant to departments on how to document learning and use indicators of student work as well as coordinate a university-wide plan for documenting learning.
  • The work with APLU on course redesign has been redirected.
    • An introductory psychology course has been redesigned. Large and small sections use a free online tutorial for text and use redesigned class time for interaction.
    • There is a shared final exam with the conventional introductory psychology course in order to compare and evaluate learning.
    • A target has been set so that all introductory psychology sections will have less than 50 students in three years.
  • A post-doctoral Teaching Fellow program was initiated, bringing new ideas and energy to large STEM foundational courses. Departments are currently proposing plans for the use of post-doctoral funds. The first iteration of redesign is expected in the next academic year.
  • Plans have been developed for new classrooms that facilitate student group interactions.
    • Engineering leads the way with a new building designed for classrooms of the future.

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Goal 2 | Elevating Doctoral Education

Prepare doctoral students as innovators and leaders who are ready to meet the demands of the academy and our global society

A doctoral education implementation committee began meeting this spring to map out a three-year plan for accomplishing the strategies and actions in Goal 2. The committee will present its report to the Provost and Senior Vice Provost in May 2012.The report will also include recommendations for moving forward with the Doctoral Funding Work Group Report from spring 2012. An overview of the report’s findings and recommendations is captured in the below presentation.

Strategy 2-A: Develop sustainable funding for doctoral education

  • In an effort to better track GRA salary metrics, Human Resources, the College, Graduate Studies, Registrar, and Comptroller have redesigned graduate research, teaching, and assistant hiring system and processes. The redesign will go into effect in 2014.
  • Graduate Studies has begun working with the KU Endowment Association on fundraising issues related to doctoral education. Moving forward, Graduate Studies and Endowment plan to hold regular meetings for developing strategies to increase awareness of giving toward graduate program needs. Seven students were identified for videos highlighting the graduate experience at KU to use in Endowment’s campaign.

Strategy 2-B: Use comparative data to set academic program standards

  • Programs with a doctoral median time to degree of seven years or more have been identified. Graduate Studies will work with the programs to develop plans for reducing their median time to degree by one year, per the Chancellor’s goal outlined to the Board of Regents.
  • Graduate studies will investigate doctoral programs with exceptional performance to identify best practices and strategies for other programs to model.

Strategy 2-C: Develop a comprehensive doctoral student recruitment plan

  • Graduate Studies has received a constituent relations management software package, Prospect, from CollegeNet and begun piloting the program with four early adopters - Business, Engineering, Edwards campus programs, and the Self Graduate Fellowship program.
  • Graduate Studies provided departments with contact information for McNair scholars and student inquiries from the SACNAS and ABRCMS conference. Additional departments chose to purchase GRE scores, and plans are being made to provide central access to GRE scores.

Strategy 2-D: Size academic programs based upon merit, mentoring, placement

  • Graduate Studies launched a subscription to Versatile PhD, a web-based service for doctoral students interested in non-academic careers. Usage data is being collected.
  • Graduate Studies met with student service representatives and faculty from the Humanities and School of the Arts regarding an interest in creating a position in Career Services dedicated to doctoral students in these fields.

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Goal 3 | Driving Discovery and Innovation

Enhance research broadly with special emphasis upon areas of present and emerging strength in order to push the boundaries of knowledge and benefit society

KU has invested in several approaches to accomplish Goal 3 that touch upon action items in Strategy A & B.

  • Foundation Professors
    • Thanks to the generous state contribution of $3 million a year in an ongoing appropriation, KU continues to recruit for the Foundation Professorships. This year’s allocation is being used to support that effort.
    • To date KU has brought six distinguished candidates to campus. Five were viewed as having the potential to make significant contributions to enhancing our research profile related to the strategic initiative themes. Of the five, two are returning this spring for a second visit. KU hopes to be able to announce their appointments later this spring for a fall 2013 start. Another two will be considered for a fall 2014 start.
    • This spring, KU will host at least four more distinguished visitors and visits for fall 2013 are already beginning to be scheduled.
  • The Research Investment Council
    • So far this year, the Research Investment Council has awarded over $1.7 million dollars in multi-year funding packages through the Strategic Initiative Grant program. Funded projects include interdisciplinary topics such as an expansion for the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training; an initiative for collaborative research among the arts, sciences, technology, and society; and forecasting for emerging diseases.
  • Cluster Hire Plans
    • Driven by the deans, one cluster hire plan entitled “Fractures in Energy Production and CO2 Storage: Science and Public Perception,” has been approved. The cluster hires will support the high-profile Foundation Professors and be provided with substantial research and start-up funds through KU’s comprehensive capital campaign. Additional cluster hire plan proposals are expected this spring.

Strategy 3-B: Increase research activities, innovation, and funding

  • This year, the Provost’s Office and Office of Research and Graduate Studies awarded Leading Light Awards in recognition of researchers who obtained grants of $1 million or more. More than 125 researchers were recipients of this new award.

Strategy 3-C: Document research excellence with enhanced accountability

  • The number of faculty using the professional record online (PRO) system has grown this year from 306 to 495. The use of PRO has expanded into the School of Business, the Department of Classics, the Department of German Languages & Literature, and the Department of Slavic Languages & Literature. Additional departments are scheduled to be entered into PRO this spring.
  • KU will establish a formal external review policy for all academic and research units in the coming years as it restructures the program review process.

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Goal 4 | Engaging Scholarship for Public Impact

Engage local, state, national, and global communities as partners in scholarly activities that have direct public impact

Strategy 4-A: Promote a culture that openly values engaged scholarship & Strategy B: Encourage, support, and coordinate engaged scholarship

  • A visioning group began meeting in the fall to discuss the challenges and needs that infrastructure supporting community engaged scholarship would address at KU. This spring, the group will make recommendations for moving forward with infrastructure to impact the actions across Strategy 4A and 4B.

Strategy 4-C: Promote active entrepreneurship and vibrant external partnerships

  • A new commercialization web portal is being developed to share information, coordinate, and develop best practices for licensing, company formation, and industry partnerships. The portal is essential to enable a coordinated approach in identifying and leveraging current activity and efforts that would make KU more visible nationally.
  • A Proof of Concept (POC) fund to support projects outside of drug discovery in cancer and neurological indications was approved. So far this year, 18 applications for the fund were received across campuses. The first awards will be made by the end of March.
  • A one-day faculty commercialization “boot camp” was held October 9, 2012. The session was designed to expose faculty to key areas of faculty innovation and interaction with industry and investors. Registration closed at 200 people with most participants coming from KU faculty and staff. Experts with experience in Silicon Valley provided lead sessions throughout the day.
  • KU’s Center for Technology Commercialization (KUCTC) launched the “Strategic Partners Program” to cultivate and steward key industry partners in a relationship that cross-cut multiple areas of engagement. The program is a collaborative effort with the KU Endowment Association – the first such collaborative program at KU. Marketing materials are currently being developed for the program.
  • A customer relations management (CRM) tool for industry relationship tracking is being developed. KUCTC is working with a consultant to launch the CRM in spring 2013.
  • An industry portal has been launched to aid in the development of more comprehensive relationships with external partners. Moreover, streamlining internal processes to enable KU to do business with industry partners more effectively will send a clear signal to industry that partnership is a priority for KU.
  • Planning for a student innovation fair on April 29 and 30 is under way.

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Goal 5 | Developing Excellence in People

Recruit, value, develop, and retain an excellent and diverse faculty and staff

Strategy 5-A: Enhance the recruitment process for excellence in hiring

  • All faculty hires in 2012-13 continue to utilize the Hiring for Excellence protocols.

Strategy5-B: Develop and retain talent and leadership at all levels to thrive in an era of change

  • A campus-wide plan for learning and development is currently being developed.
  • The Bold Aspirations Visitor and Lecture Series brought 12 speakers to campus in fall 2012. Four speakers are already scheduled and invites have been extended to additional speakers for the spring.

Strategy 5-C: Be accountable

  • Following the Board of Regents’ lead, KU has begun planning to charge a faculty and governance committee with developing and implementing a university-wide faculty policy for post-tenure review.

Strategy 5-D: Enhance the diversity of faculty, staff, and student body

  • The Diversity Advisory Council has continued to meet throughout fall 2012 to refine the diversity framework and has begun to develop indicators for measuring progress.
  • KU re-established a joint campus and community Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration which drew over 150 attendees.

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Goal 6 | Developing Infrastructure and Resources

Responsibly steward fiscal and physical resources and energize supporters to expand the resource base

Strategy 6-A: Reallocate resources on a regular basis to priorities

  • KU is in the second year of implementing savings and efficiencies identified by Changing for Excellence (CFE). Through progress has been made across CFE, this year KU is focused on implementing shared service centers to advance a culture of customer service with timely, efficient, and accurate services; accountability; and an environment of professional expertise. The launch of shared service centers in the College, Hall Center for the Humanities, the Institute for Policy and Social research, and the University Honors Program will take place in spring 2013. Additional updates on progress across CFE can be found at www.cfe.ku.edu.

Strategy 6-B: Create a comprehensive process for facilities planning

  • In February, KU announced that Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company has been contracted to provide a broad range of services in developing a campus master plan. The company and the Office for Capital Planning & Space Management will host two open forums in late-February, one for the campus and one for the community. Updates will be available on the Design & Construction Management website: http://dcm.ku.edu/campus-master-plan.
  • As part of Changing for Excellence, Information Technology has been engaged in many initiatives to enhance and build technology infrastructure that will benefit students, faculty, and staff. Initiatives include server centralization, network optimization, and development of constituent relationship management (CRM) tools for various units to utilize.

Strategy 6-C: Energize Far Above, the comprehensive fundraising campaign

  • A detailed campaign plan has been developed and is being implemented by the KU Endowment Association in conjunction with key KU units.
  • Advisory boards for the schools, College, and major academic units continue to meet to ensure that goals and strategies are appropriately prioritized for Far Above.
  • The KU Endowment Association has developed campaign materials for the schools, College, and major academic units for distribution when meeting with potential donors and alumni.
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