“On Location” Update
What am I hearing? This past month, during town halls, forums, and the “Open Dore – On Location” sessions, faculty and staff are communicating their ideas and opinions.
The discussion topics brought forward by the attendees range from:
- How are we investing in graduate education?
- What is our strategic plan for building international partnerships in research and education?
- What resources are available for faculty and staff career development and retention?
- What is Vanderbilt’s approach in regard to the changing focus of some accreditation bodies on teaching practical skills versus developing scholars and leaders?
- Can we change structural barriers that slow progress on building a diverse, inclusive community?
I am hearing about where we have excelled, as well as where we have more work to do, changes to consider, and investments to make.
The topics emerging as common discussion points will be featured in future newsletter issues. In addition, just as there are FAQs from other forums and town halls such as the August Faculty Senate town hall (available through the Senate Portal), we are developing FAQs from my “On Location” meetings, and will soon post a summary. Further, Chancellor Zeppos has launched a series of town halls to address topics of special interest. Just this past week, he hosted a discussion on the “Future of College Athletics.”
It is critical that action is taken when questions raise immediately addressable concerns. Some actions are straightforward and easy to undertake. For example, we recently made a revision in the submission guidelines for this year’s round of TIPs proposals. Last year’s guidelines called for submissions that involved faculty from at least two different colleges/schools. The new guidelines broaden the submission criteria and recognize that incredibly strong proposals could come from cross-disciplinary submissions that involve faculty from only one school/college.
Other challenges take study and planning to allow thoughtful decisions and to ensure the greatest potential for positive outcomes is achieved. The recent recommendations from the “Future of the Libraries” report came from the efforts of two broad-based committees who deliberated during the 2014-15 academic year. Further evaluation of next steps awaits the recruitment of new library leadership. Yesterday we announced the pilot actions to be undertaken following the recommendations from last year’s working group on Co-Curricular Engagement External to the College Halls (CEECH). Further, based on an extensive set of different conversations – some hosted last year by the Center for Teaching, the important work for the Chancellor’s new Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee was launched.
Our highest priority is to guarantee that all feel safe in communicating their thoughts on any university issue. I appreciate greatly the Faculty Senate leadership, chaired this year by Richard Willis with vice-chair Ann Price, who are working to create new mechanisms for transparency and shared understandings. We will make the most progress with a collective sense of commitment and responsibility.
I want to thank all who are giving powerful constructive input, and to those who are sharing their time, experiences and expertise to propose solutions. Together we are enhancing and building on the Vanderbilt commitment to collaboration, creativity, and civility.
Looking forward to seeing you and listening to your ideas at an “On Location” session, forum, town hall, or around campus.
Previous Open Dore Issues
In case you missed it….
The Feedback Loop – August 2015
The Discovery ROI – May 2015
Strategic Decisions for Strategic Impact – April 2015
New Leaders and Calls for All to Engage – March 2015
A Culture Powered by Ideas – February 2015
Welcome to the First Issue of The Open Dore – January 2015
An update from Chancellor Zeppos on the 2015-16 academic year
Pilot programs launch to enhance the residential experience
New videos on copyright law will help users balance fair-use considerations
Vanderbilt Portal to Mexico City bridges cultures with video technology
Future of the libraries focus of new report
Vanderbilt earns best-ever No. 15 ranking from ‘U.S. News & World Report’