Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Faculty Structure Task Force update

Dear Members of the University Community:

Over the past 18 months, the Faculty Structure Task Force deliberated on the question:

“Is Simon Fraser University's current academic structure one that best reflects our qualities and strengths and one that will enable us to most effectively and visibly advance our strategic goals?”

In December 2006, the Faculty Structure Task Force concluded that the University should proceed with the “careful reflection, analysis, and imagining of whether there are alternative configurations in some areas of the University that might lead to better recognition and actualization of the values, strategic priorities, and vision of the University for the future”. Senate approved the four recommendations of the Faculty Structure Task Force including the creation of a Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure, the mandate and principles of assessment for the Phase 2 Task Force and a procedural framework for conducting its analysis.

It is with great pleasure that I now announce the establishment of the Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure. The Phase 2 Task Force has been mandated to:

(1) Consider and evaluate proposals from the University community as well as those developed by the Phase 2 Task Force itself, and following exploration and consultation with the University community, recommend to Senate an overall academic unit configuration for Simon Fraser University;

(2) Consider and evaluate the coherence, roles, responsibilities, functions, administrative requirements, costs, and terminology of the structural building blocks employed at Simon Fraser University (i.e. programs, schools, departments, centres, and institutes) and, following exploration and consultation with the University community, recommend to Senate a strategy that will provide definitional clarity, administrative effectiveness, and appropriate differentiation among these structures; and,

(3) Consider and evaluate the University’s effectiveness in incubating, facilitating, and supporting interdisciplinary research and programming, and, following exploration and consultation with the University community, recommend structural and/or policy changes that will enhance interdisciplinary innovation in the future.

The Phase 2 Task Force will endeavor to complete its work by November 30, 2007.

The Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure will operate in an open, transparent, and collegial manner and will keep you informed of our progress and thinking as we proceed with the activities of our mandate. We will assess proposals for organizational change comprehensively against the eight principles of assessment approved by Senate. A “Call for Submissions” inviting academic units to make proposals for alternative unit configurations within the University will be issued within the next few days.

The work of the Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure must be seen as a work of partnership with academic units and community members across the University. We must all seek to be objective, explorative, and imaginative as we aim to design and build a future for the university that will enable us to embrace change as opportunity and confirm our reputation, in all areas of the university, as the best research comprehensive University in the country.

In consultation with the Senate Committee on University Priorities, I have appointed the following members to the Task Force:

Paul Budra (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Charmaine Dean (Faculty of Science), Jane Friesen (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Frank Gobas (Faculty of Applied Sciences), Bob Krider (Faculty of Business Administration), Craig Janes (Faculty of Health Sciences), Jack Martin (Faculty of Education), John Waterhouse (Vice-President, Academic, Chair of the Task Force), and 2 student representatives (pending identification from SFSS). Sue Roppel has been appointed as Special Projects Advisor to the Task Force and its Working Groups.

The Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure has developed a web site to keep you informed about its activities:

The Phase 2 Task Force will endeavor to complete its work by November 30, 2007.

The Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure will operate in an open, transparent, and collegial manner and will keep you informed of our progress and thinking as we proceed with the activities of our mandate. We will assess proposals for organizational change comprehensively against the eight principles of assessment approved by Senate. A “Call for Submissions” inviting academic units to make proposals for alternative unit configurations within the University will be issued within the next few days.

The work of the Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure must be seen as a work of partnership with academic units and community members across the University. We must all seek to be objective, explorative, and imaginative as we aim to design and build a future for the university that will enable us to embrace change as opportunity and confirm our reputation, in all areas of the university, as the best research comprehensive University in the country.

In consultation with the Senate Committee on University Priorities, I have appointed the following members to the Task Force:

Paul Budra (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Charmaine Dean (Faculty of Science), Jane Friesen (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Frank Gobas (Faculty of Applied Sciences), Bob Krider (Faculty of Business Administration), Craig Janes (Faculty of Health Sciences), Jack Martin (Faculty of Education), John Waterhouse (Vice-President, Academic, Chair of the Task Force), and 2 student representatives (pending identification from SFSS). Sue Roppel has been appointed as Special Projects Advisor to the Task Force and its Working Groups.

The Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure has developed a web site to keep you informed about its activities:
http://www.sfu.ca/vpacademic/Committees_TaskForces/Ad_Hoc_Committees/Phase2_TF/index.html

In addition to the various formal opportunities that will be developed to consult extensively with the University community, we wish to invite you at any time to send us your input, advice and comments. The Task Force can be contacted by email at: facultystructure-phase2@sfu.ca or you can contact the Secretary to the Task Force, Sharon Eng, at 604.291.3925

We look forward to working with you over the next year.

Sincerely,

John Waterhouse, Chair, Phase 2 Task Force on Academic Structure
Vice-President, Academic

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