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Strategic Plan Progress Report

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 22, 2010

Photos: Erin Gleason, UNH Photographic Services

President Mark Huddleston, Provost John Aber and a panel of faculty and staff provided an update to the university community yesterday on the Strategic Plan: UNH in 2020 that was unveiled in February. To view a video of the presentation and learn more about ways to get involved visit http://www.unh.edu/2020/092110.html.

Panel participants included Marco Dorfsman, associate professor of languages, literatures and cultures; Lisa MacFarlane, senior vice provost, academic affairs; Wanda Mitchell, vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence; Paul McNamara, associate professor of philosophy; Janet Campbell, Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory research professor; Eleanor Abrams, professor of education; and Jan Nisbet, senior vice provost for research.

“As you will recall, in an era that has seen college costs rise faster than the ability of students and families to pay, the plan calls on all of us to rethink how a major research university can and should operate. It commits us to finding new ways to teach, learn, discover, create, and engage in the 21st century—and positions UNH to become a national leader in the redefinition of American higher education,” Huddleston said.

The session kicked off with a song by the cast of “Rent” (Johnson Theatre Oct. 6 to Oct. 10 (more info), leading Huddleston to note the performance highlighted “Arts for Life,” a yearlong celebration of the last half-century of arts at UNH. He went on to discuss nine actions taken since then to move the plan forward.

One of those is next month’s opening of the Confucius Institute at UNH, which will make the university a center for the study of Chinese language, arts and culture, and, Huddleston said, will serve to strengthen the relationship with Chengdu University, UNH’s Szechwan province partner.

The other actions include the UNH-initiated proposal for a statewide inclusive excellence planning process; UNH’s commitment to support enterprise and find new ways to commercialize the university’s intellectual capital; fundraising and building razing for the new Peter T. Paul College for Business and Economics; UNH’s “nimbility” reflected in the January 2010 January Term and its planned expansion for study away opportunities in 2011; RCM’s continued opportunities and challenges; and the University Club in Dimond Library.

The goal, Provost Aber said, is for everyone in the university community to find themselves in the plan, adding that there are multiple opportunities for gathering, discussing and participating.

Aber addressed other accomplishments of the strategic plan, including the University Office of Sustainability becoming the UNH Sustainability Academy; the plan for the School of Earth System Science; the School for Public, Community and International Services; and the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.  

Campbell said the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering would elevate the profile of marine science and ocean engineering research and enterprise at the university, adding that UNH has received more than $200 million in marine research money since 2003 but that the graduate program had not grown.

“We have enough tenure-track faculty to teach the core courses,” Campbell said, adding that this fall, they will look to faculty members for help creating the school’s curriculum.

Aber also announced the $1 million funding of the New Ventures Fund, an idea in the strategic plan aimed at promoting new interdisciplinary and collaborative research, teaching, and engagement initiatives. The money will be used to promote Wonder and Innovation in Teaching, the Faculty Research and Engagement Academy, and the Research Leveraging Initiative. Learn more at: http://www.unh.edu/strategicplanning/newventuresfund.html.


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