Dear WVU Faculty and Instructors:
In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to thank you for your continued commitment to the success of our students — and for your many contributions to research that advances the University’s R1 mission and outreach that positively impacts local communities.
For example, this fall semester alone, our faculty have been engaged in a number of initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for the citizens of our state and beyond, such as expanding opioid-crisis response efforts in rural communities, re-envisioning policing techniques in American communities, and combating pandemic learning loss among K-12 students.
Faculty are also helping to transform the University’s academic enterprise by revising and developing curricula and academic programs designed to attract new students to the University and further differentiate WVU as a modern land-grant institution.
I was thrilled to see the response to our first-ever Curriculum Innovation Challenge. We received 35 pre-proposal submissions – each of which required the commitment of at least three faculty members. Now, 14 of those groups are advancing their ideas to the next level of review. It has been inspiring to see so many faculty who are enthusiastic and engaged in the process and excited about the possibility of creating new programs that are innovative and forward-thinking.
I also want to acknowledge faculty participation in efforts to improve and enhance the University’s opportunities for faculty rewards and recognition. In particular, I have been pleased with the high level of faculty engagement in discussions regarding proposed revisions to the University’s appointment, evaluation, promotion and tenure document. The dialogue to date has been healthy, necessary and productive and has resulted in a stronger document.
On Monday, in response to concerns raised about the timeline, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and our office decided to delay the full Faculty Senate vote on the final proposed version of the University Procedures document until the January 9, 2023, meeting to allow more time for faculty review. The document is available on the Academic Transformation website, along with several other resources. While the comment period is now closed, I encourage you to continue to share feedback with your faculty senators and to reach out to my office with questions, if needed.
While change can sometimes be unsettling, it is necessary for our institution to grow, evolve and meet the challenges we face. I am heartened by the spirit of innovation that I have been privileged to observe. Thank you for embarking on this journey together and facing the future with a shared sense of purpose — and joy. I am grateful to work alongside such talented, creative and dedicated colleagues.
I hope you can spend some time next week to relax and recover, to enjoy good food and to feed your soul by sharing the holiday with family and friends. Coming back, it will be a mad dash until the end of the semester, and you will need all your energy for that final push.
I appreciate you all.