Once again the biology departments in the College of Natural Science are being asked to evaluate how they are delivering biology instruction to MSU undergraduates. I’ll be using this blog to post updates on the process as it unfolds.
Context: budget pressures. The university has imposed 4% cuts for 2009-10, and is projecting cuts of 6% for 2010-11. Those 6% cuts won’t be imposed uniformly across colleges. Instead, colleges with more “transformative” strategic plans1 may escape with smaller cuts. Dean Kirkpatrick has identified biology as the area where CNS has the most potential to propose and implement innovations. So, he has called together chairs of biology departments to develop such a proposal.
In a meeting of chairs and directors on 2 July, Dean Kirkpatrick laid out some of the constraints that will govern our deliberations:
- Any changes to academic programs need to be submitted to academic governance by December 2009 (this mandate actually comes from the President and Provost).
- CNS needs a proposal by September 15
- The proposal needs to justify how we will maintain, or even improve, the quality of undergraduate instruction, and do so with less mone
- Other than that, he suggested little else in the way of constraints.
The first real meeting of the biology chairs was scheduled for July 16, 2009. See next post for report
1trans·form′·a·tive (-fôrm-tv) adj. A description of a plan that does more with less. Neologism attributed to Kim Wilcox.
ADDED 9 August 2009: I’ve decided to post my summaries and comments in a completely separate blog, at msuzoology.wordpress.com. Items previously posted here have been moved to that site.