Dear WVU Faculty and Instructors:
Happy Friday! With temperatures warming earlier this week and COVID cases in the state and at WVU declining, we were given a brief and welcome taste of better times to come. I hope that all of you are doing well, staying well and getting into the rhythms of the Spring semester.
Last week, President Gee and I communicated with more than 300 faculty and staff in our first in a series of Campus Conversations focused on Academic Transformation. The first conversation provided an overview of Academic Transformation — what it is, why we’re doing it, milestones to date and new priorities.
After our opening remarks, we had a spirited discussion with participants and were able to answer almost all the questions raised. Members of my team were also on the call to share their expertise in specific areas being addressed through the transformation process.
If you missed the conversation, the video is available on our Academic Transformation website, along with the presentation slides that were shared. Moving forward, we will be curating common questions and answers and adding them to the website as well.
During the conversation, President Gee and I emphasized that Academic Transformation isn’t about cutting costs. Rather, it is a prioritization exercise, designed to align our resources to support our institutional goals in a very challenging financial environment.
These goals, by the way, are “finite,” meaning they tend to stay constant over time. They also neatly correspond with the areas of contribution upon which faculty are evaluated: teaching, research and service.
Those goals include:
- Providing our students with a rigorous and relevant education;
- Producing research and creative works that will have a positive impact on society; and
- Engaging in outreach that helps to advance prosperity and well-being in West Virginia.
When making tough decisions about prioritizing resources, we must be guided by these large and lofty goals to remind us why we’re here, what is at stake and what we are trying to preserve.
The ultimate goal of Academic Transformation is to position the University for success – now and into the future. And while my office has been tasked with leading this effort, each of us is responsible for doing our part to help WVU thrive. These efforts must be undertaken not just to benefit our ourselves or our own academic unit but also to benefit the thousands of students we serve each year and the communities that rely on our engagement, research discoveries and support.
Future Campus Conversations will tackle specific aspects of Academic Transformation. The next conversation will focus on student success and proposed changes to our academic advising model. It is scheduled for Thursday, February 24, at 11:00 a.m. We hope to have it in person, but there will be a virtual option. More details to come.
If you have questions, ideas or feedback, please email us at email@example.com.
Again, thank you for your continued dedication to our students and the academic mission during what has been an extraordinarily difficult two years. I truly hope the end is in sight and that we will see better times and a rebirth of hope over the next several months.