To CFR Faculty:
In the six months since November 7, 2001 when we voted to proceed toward a redesign of our college's undergraduate program, many of you have worked thoughtfully and diligently to develop and present ideas; discuss those ideas; and go back to the drawing board to improve on or develop new ideas. I greatly appreciate the work you have done. Originally, I hoped that our redesign would be complete by April (you may recall that I originally asked for the CTRANS report by February 15) so that it could be implemented in the coming autumn quarter. We also were informed that the RCEP procedures needed to be implemented if the "triggers" requiring said review are tripped. For these reasons, it is unlikely that our new curricular design can be implemented in autumn quarter. However, that does imply that progress towards curriculum transformation should slow down.
I learned today that CTRANS has developed a revised proposal for the faculty to review. It appears to possess design elements that are a compromise between the earlier CTRANS proposal and that put forth by the ad hoc faculty group working on a professional program option. I am hopeful that this new design will meet the approval of the faculty when presented for a vote later this quarter. I urge each of you to read it carefully when it is released in the next few days.
I am requesting that CTRANS complete and submit its report on redesigning the College's undergraduate program by May 15, 2002. If any other ad hoc group of faculty wishes to submit a report detailing alternatives to the CTRANS proposal, I ask that it, too, be submitted to me by the same date. Alternatives to CTRANS must be complete and cover all of the College's programs in order for the faculty to have a common basis of comparison.
Because you will not have adequate time to adequately review the revised CTRANS proposal before this Friday, I am canceling the May 10 all-college faculty meeting. Please note that one to three faculty meetings will be arranged during the last three weeks of May and early June, culminating in a faculty vote before the end of the quarter. I will send dates of these meetings in a separate email message after I confer with the EFC Chair.
I intend to work with the EFC to develop a process for conducting faculty conversations prior to and during faculty meetings and to bring a final proposal before the faculty for evaluation and voting.
Before we vote to adopt a redesigned undergraduate program we should listen closely to as many of our stakeholders as we realistically can. While CTRANS has done this to a limited degree (this activity should be documented in their report) they also listened to faculty pressure to keep conversations inside the college until we had substantial opportunities to more fully develop our ideas. I am also mindful of the outside views we solicited at Camp Long during our curriculum retreat.
I am in contact with our CFR Advisory Board and have asked them to assist me in evaluating the revised CTRANS proposal. Board members played a key role on the Charting Directions Committee and have many insights and opinions that we can benefit from hearing. They may also wish to solicit input from the larger community of College alumni. I also suggest that our collaborating campus partners as well as our undergraduate and graduate students be asked to comment and make suggestions for improvement.
Lastly, I wish to be open and honest with you about my beliefs around the eventual outcome of our redesign process. I strongly believe that our undergraduate program should be a coherent and cohesive program that is managed and maintained by ONE faculty and not seven or more "program" faculties as we have done in the past. I also believe that we and our many constituencies will be best served by a college undergraduate program that formally embraces the concept of sustainability. I continue to think we should focus our collective efforts on sustainable forestry, sustainable urban environments and sustainable forest enterprises. I very much hope that the undergraduate program that we ultimately adopt clearly identifies what undergraduate students will be able to do (academic areas of study, communities to belong to, career paths to embark on, and so on) upon completion of their studies.
I believe we are on the threshold of an historic change in how the College will be perceived both on and off campus. As we embrace our vision of promoting sustainable forest enterprises and land and ecosystem management in an urbanizing world we must also ensure that the advice of our Advisory Board is given serious consideration, that our historic constituents understand our efforts to modernize the College and that we engage in a wide array of activities to support the sustainability of urban and forest ecosystems. I am confident that we will be successful in our efforts.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean