As we begin the autumn quarter, we face a very uncertain future as an independent College in the University hierarchy. The UW administration has proposed that we join the new College of the Environment as a core unit - mostly likely as the School of Forest Resources. The Provost has assured me that all existing units of our College will remain part of the new School if such a move occurs. Alternately, we may remain as a collaborating unit and retain our independence as a unique College dedicated to conserving and sustaining the natural resources of our terrestrial environment.
Before any organizational change can take place, the Provost and a majority of the Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting must initiate, and successfully complete, the required RCEP process to eliminate or consolidate our College. This process may be initiated without an advisory vote of our faculty, although the administration has stated that prospective units will be asked to vote on how they choose to participate with the new College. To date, I have received no request from either the President or Provost to call for an advisory vote on this issue.
I am pleased that many CFR faculty and staff are discussing the ramifications related to participating with the new CoEnv. This is as it should be as we strive to better understand what the future may hold. This topic was also discussed during our recent retreat where we announced a goal to 'Take a leadership role in making the College of the Environment successful.' To me, leadership on such an issue means searching out and understanding all relevant information and its ramifications, examining the pros and cons of all available alternatives, and then, after careful reflection, deciding on the best course of action to pursue for the future.
It is my understanding that Professor Gustafson (representing the EFC) will bring new information concerning the CoEnv to our faculty as it becomes available this quarter and will convene a half day forum in October to allow all members of the CFR community to voice their opinions and to better understand the issues at risk. In October, President Emmert will meet with our faculty to discuss this and other issues facing the University. I have also requested a chance to meet with the CFR EFC as soon as possible to discuss this issue so as to better inform all parties.
I hope you agree with me that this is the proper course to follow in the days and weeks ahead as we strive to reach a decision on how best to proceed. Thanks and best wishes.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean