Advancing the Legacy:
The New Millennium
The Final Report
University Academic Planning Council
Table of Contents
The Mission of Boston College
Comment on Resources
- Undergraduate Education
- Graduate and Professional Education
- Jesuit and Catholic Identity
- Five characteristics
Appendix: UAPC Membership
Boston College prepares to enter the next millennium confident that the new century will bring significant opportunities for accomplishment and service. The University Academic Planning Council Report accepts this challenge with a vision firmly rooted in the University's distinctive traditions and mission. The Report also reflects both the turbulent environment of higher education at the close of the 20th century and the continuous search that any great university must undertake if it is to be faithful to its mission, to be relevant to the times, and to be of service to society. In its quest, Boston College is not static but dynamic, always seeking to balance teaching and research, undergraduate instruction and graduate education, academic excellence with religiously motivated concern for personal formation, adherence to the perennial values of its Catholic and Jesuit inspiration with incorporation of other religious traditions and value systems. In these areas, as well as in numerous other aspects of the University's intellectual and community life, the University Academic Planning Council does not offer a final word; rather the Council proposes an ambitious agenda intended to guide Boston College's quest to advance its legacy into the coming decade and the new millennium.
As Boston College enters the next millennium, few doubt that the coming decade will present special challenges to American higher education. For some universities, the mood is pessimistic and the prospect threatening; to Boston College, entering this period with academic and financial strength, the forces described below offer a unique opportunity to achieve a new level of excellence and service.
In the coming decade, higher education will become even more stratified in terms of the quality of students and faculty. Among universities, the faculty research that enriches culture or addresses important social issues will continue to be the distinctive measure of a university's contribution to society. Consequently, competition for outstanding faculty and students will become even more intense among the top tier of outstanding institutions. Added to these traditional measures of quality will be a more careful examination of a university's commitment to effective teaching, its success in stimulating learning, and its record in preparing graduates for careers.
Given growing fiscal pressures on the national level, federal educational policy will likely reduce resources for universities, university students and research support. Parents and students, faced with high tuition costs, will become more careful consumers of higher education and will place increased demands on colleges for responsive services, for increased financial aid, and for careful attention to undergraduate teaching. This combination of reduced family income, declining federal support and rising costs will precipitate increased price competition to attract the best prepared and most talented students.
Long-standing political trends at the national level, strengthened by a recent decline in public confidence in colleges and universities, will intensify calls for greater accountability and regulation of the 'higher education industry.' Institutional autonomy could be threatened by regulation at all levels of government. Expectations that universities will be responsible institutional citizens committed to addressing the needs of society will increase.
Catholic universities will bear a special responsibility to address the continuing alienation of academic, public and professional life from the Catholic educational ideal of intellectual inquiry that sees religious belief and reason as mutually illuminating. Similarly there will be a growing reliance and expectation that higher education will respond to the widespread concern for ethical standards and to the deepening erosion of social structures such as the family, urban public schools, the church and the neighborhood that promote values and community.
Higher education will assume an increasingly critical role in assuring the nation's competitiveness in a global political and economic society. Faculty will become more convinced that their teaching, research and service must take place in a global rather than national community. Students will expect to be educated and prepared to live and work in an international society.
The knowledge explosion will continue, deepening the trend to compartmentalization within intellectual disciplines; a simultaneous pressure will arise to develop interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research. These opposing tendencies will challenge universities to devise new organizational structures in pursuing their academic mission. Higher education will also face increasing competition from other providers outside the walls of academe who will generate and disseminate knowledge and who will seek to meet the educational needs of the large segments of the public.
Technology will change the way faculty, students and staff carry out many of their basic functions and challenge universities to incorporate these emerging technologies in teaching, learning and administrative functioning.
Demographic changes that will affect Boston College include a decline in the number of Jesuits and an increase in the proportion of AHANA and immigrant students among an expanding traditional college-age population. The Catholic community will face continued rapid decline in the number and selectivity of clerical candidates within the Church and the rising need to expand the roles of the laity in the conduct of the Church's mission. Finally, there will be an increasing demand for life-long learning and continuous renewal of skills from a population with greater longevity.
The Mission of Boston College
Strengthened by more than a century and a quarter of dedication to academic excellence, Boston College commits itself to the highest standards of teaching and research in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs and to the pursuit of a just society through its own accomplishments, the work of its faculty and staff, and the achievements of its graduates. It seeks both to advance its place among the nation's finest universities and to bring to the company of its distinguished peers and to contemporary society the richness of the Catholic intellectual ideal of a mutually illuminating relationship between religious faith and free intellectual inquiry.
Boston College draws inspiration for its academic and societal mission from its distinctive religious tradition. As a Catholic and Jesuit university, it is rooted in a world view that encounters God in all creation and through all human activity, especially in the search for truth in every discipline, in the desire to learn, and in the call to live justly together. In this spirit, the University regards the contribution of different religious traditions and value systems as essential to the fullness of its intellectual life and to the continuous development of its distinctive intellectual heritage.
Boston College pursues this distinctive mission by serving society in three ways:
Boston College fulfills this mission with a deep concern for all members of its community, with a recognition of the important contribution a diverse student body, faculty and staff can offer, with a firm commitment to academic freedom, and with a determination to exercise careful stewardship of its resources in pursuit of its academic goals.
- by fostering the rigorous intellectual development and the religious, ethical and personal formation of its undergraduate, graduate and professional students in order to prepare them for citizenship, service and leadership in a global society;
- by producing nationally and internationally significant research that advances insight and understanding, thereby both enriching culture and addressing important societal needs; and
- by committing itself to advance the dialogue between religious belief and other formative elements of culture through the intellectual inquiry, teaching and learning, and the community life that form the University.
In the pursuit of the mission of Boston College, the University Academic Planning Council proposes five major initiatives for the next decade.
- Emphasize rigorous intellectual development and personal formation as the distinctive marks of a Boston College undergraduate education.
- Advance and promote the critical role of graduate and professional education in the University and strengthen infrastructure support for graduate and professional programs.
- Strengthen and support research as a central aspect of the mission of
- Emphasize the distinctive Jesuit tradition of liberal education and of intellectual engagement between religious faith and contemporary culture.
- Enhance the following characteristics of Boston College:
- the special sense of community,
- increased diversity,
- greater internationalization,
- technology as a competitive advantage, and
1. Emphasize rigorous intellectual development and personal formation as the distinctive marks of a Boston College undergraduate education.
Commitment to undergraduate education is a traditional and widely acknowledged strength of Boston College. The University Academic Planning Council reaffirms in the strongest terms that initiatives in other areas should not detract from the emphasis on teaching. Excellent teaching is and should remain a sine qua non in hiring, promotion and faculty reward systems.
Academic quality derives in large measure from the academic reputation of faculty, from the attention faculty give to their teaching, and from the concern faculty have for their students' intellectual and personal development. As Boston College has strengthened its position as a researching university, the faculty role has been adapted to blend the significant demands on faculty for teaching, advising and personal interaction with undergraduate students with new opportunities and expectations for research.
Boston College's distinctive commitment to undergraduate education draws inspiration from its Catholic and Jesuit world view. The University seeks not only rigorous intellectual development but also religious, ethical and personal formation in order to prepare young men and women for citizenship, service and leadership in a global society.
In the coming decade, Boston College will be challenged to define more clearly and measure more carefully the learning outcomes it proposes and its students seek, and to focus increasing attention on how the teaching and learning process can better achieve these outcomes. The faculty will also serve a new generation of students who will expect that their education incorporate the emerging information technologies.
Boston College should develop its graduate student and part-time faculty into a strong instructional resource that will strengthen and enrich its curriculum. At the same time, the overall responsibility for instruction, especially on the undergraduate level, must remain firmly in the hands of the full-time faculty. Addition of full-time faculty, in keeping with the emphasis on excellence in undergraduate teaching, should enlarge and not detract from students' involvement with faculty.
Boston College should increase funding for the most talented students. Attracting such students and integrating them more effectively into the University's intellectual life will raise the academic expectations of all students. The improvement of the academic climate among undergraduates and the better integration of academic and residential life should be viewed as long-term projects. This effort focuses on both intellectual development and personal formation and requires that faculty and student affairs staff be mutually supportive of each other's concerns and initiatives. Finally, a closer link between classroom education and internship experiences can improve students' commitment to their studies as they begin to understand the utility and purpose of their education.
- Emphasize full-time faculty responsibility for undergraduate teaching, including the core curriculum by increasing the proportion of sections taught by full-time faculty; accomplish this through careful review of the organization and management of departmental offerings, ongoing assessment of the role of nonfull-time faculty and how they can best contribute to teaching and learning, the addition of new faculty, and the selective consolidation of part-time positions into full-time positions.
- Strengthen and extend hallmark Boston College undergraduate programs such as honors programs, PULSE, Perspectives, and interdisciplinary minors.
- Reaffirm the current core curriculum that identifies study of the "perennial questions," including transcendence, as one of its goals and in a way that is inclusive of the insights of both Catholic and other religious traditions and value systems.
- Continue to improve the academic quality of the undergraduate student body through additional merit-based financial aid; provide strong support to students who compete for prestigious fellowships.
- Heighten the overall academic aspiration level of undergraduate students by developing models for better integration of students' academic and social lives, with special emphasis on programs that integrate students' academic and residential experience.
- Reassert faculty mentoring and the traditional Jesuit concern for cura personalis as a pervasive theme in the relationship of faculty and undergraduates and support this emphasis in initiatives such as the undergraduate research program and capstone courses, in new structures for advisement, and in expectations and reward structures for faculty.
- Strengthen teaching and learning through more effective measurement of teaching effectiveness and more explicit assessment of learning outcomes.
- Expand university-wide opportunities for domestic and international internship programs: to promote the interplay between critical reflection and practical experience in confronting social justice issues, to facilitate the transition to meaningful work, and to encourage faculty-student mentoring relationships.
- Invest in enlarged faculty development programs focused on teaching and learning such as a post-tenure seminar that would strengthen the faculty's commitment to liberal education and the core curriculum; anticipate the impact of the new technologies on learning and the expectations of prospective students on the use of technology in learning.
- Insure the funding, support, integration and supervision to develop both graduate students and part-time faculty into a strong instructional resource.
2. Advance and promote the critical role of graduate and professional education in the University and strengthen infrastructure support for graduate and professional programs.
In the last decade, Boston College has been recognized for superior graduate programs and professional schools. Talented graduate and professional students, drawn increasingly from national and international pools, comprise one-third of its student population. Fulfillment of Boston College's aspirations as a university now make it imperative to reaffirm graduate and professional education as an essential and integral component of the University's vision and to strengthen the infrastructure that supports graduate and professional programs and students. In its aspiration to provide the best in graduate and professional education, the University finds a distinctive way to fulfill its Jesuit mission. The University also acknowledges its special interest in issues within the disciplines that have special relevance to social justice or religious faith.
Outstanding graduate and professional programs require an ample corps of researching faculty to serve as mentors, teachers and counselors to graduate and professional students. In addition, endowed chairs add a dimension of world-class scholarship and enhanced reputation to the University and to the discipline where the chair resides. Affording faculty adequate time for research and for the mentoring of graduate and professional students while retaining the University's traditional commitment to undergraduate teaching will require additional faculty and the reorganization of faculty assignments to promote the best use of the talents of each individual.
Critical to the improvement of graduate and professional programs is the University's ability to compete for superior graduate and professional students with major universities in disciplines where Boston College already has or could develop a national or international reputation. Strengthening these programs will require financial awards and other resources such as summer support or travel funds that are available to outstanding students at the best institutions. The improvement of the quality of graduate and professional students will have a direct impact on undergraduate education, given the important role many of these students have in the instruction of undergraduates.
Though they comprise one-third of the student body, graduate and professional students perceive that most University services at Boston College are focused almost exclusively on undergraduates. Boston College's administrative, academic, computing and student services infrastructure needs to support graduate and professional students more effectively, including provision of housing.
Greater collaboration among the graduate and professional programs could be an important advantage and more effective mechanisms to promote this collaboration should be developed and supported.
In the past, Boston College met the educational needs of a burgeoning immigrant population in the greater Boston area. Boston College should continue its tradition of access to talented students of color and to students from lower socio-economic groups.
- Expand and realign resources to programs with the greatest opportunity for quality and preeminence by reviewing existing graduate and professional programs. Include the following criteria in this review: quality (of faculty, students, information resources, facilities and equipment), need (centrality to the Boston College's distinctive mission, student demand, career opportunities for graduates, locational advantage, comparative advantage, and cost (cost/revenue relationship, ratio of investment to results).
- Improve the quality of graduate and professional students by increasing levels of support for graduate and professional students as a means both to strengthen graduate, professional and undergraduate education and to make Boston College competitive with the best universities for outstanding graduate and professional students.
- Add endowed chairs selectively to augment scholarly leadership and to promote greater visibility for strong graduate and professional programs.
- Increase the time available to faculty for research and for graduate and professional education by restructuring faculty workloads and selectively adding faculty positions.
- Provide initial support to a small number of multidisciplinary policy, research and service initiatives that are dedicated to scholarship, address important social issues or advance the dialogue between religious faith and contemporary culture.
- Strengthen infrastructure support for graduate and professional education and for graduate and professional students: administrative, academic, information technology, student services and housing.
- Establish a university-wide council focused on interdisciplinary cooperation and on the special support needed for research and for graduate and professional education in order to increase awareness and support for graduate and professional education.
- Expand fellowships for students of color to Boston College graduate and professional programs.
- Develop interdisciplinary programs that take fuller advantage of the existing and emerging academic strengths both in the Arts and Sciences and in the professional schools.
3. Strengthen and support research as a central aspect of the mission of Boston College.
Scholarly research, pursued in an environment that prizes the academic freedom to seek the truth wherever it may lead, is central to the University's intellectual life. Faculty, throughout their careers, should be engaged in the creation of new knowledge, and, where appropriate, in discovering how their research can contribute to a more just society. Because of the formative role of research and of the interplay of intellectual disciplines in the development of culture, Boston College has a special concern in its own scholarly endeavors to advance the dialogue between religious belief and the other disciplines that have a formative influence on culture.
Excellence in faculty scholarship is a crucial metric by which Boston College will establish its position among the best universities in the United States. Achieving a higher level of research excellence is a matter not simply of raising standards for faculty, but also of providing faculty with the conditions and support for research and service. A successful research strategy involves recruiting, rewarding and retaining new outstanding researching faculty, providing current faculty with better resources, and encouraging non-researching faculty to become active researchers. Of particular importance are competitive teaching assignments that provide the time for research and a supportive university infrastructure-library, technology, physical plant, and grant-seeking support. Although no university can be equally eminent in all fields of inquiry and thus choices are inevitable, a great university must have strength in every area of research it undertakes.
While the University support described above is critical to excellence in research, it is the strength of the commitment to research by individual faculty members and the faculty as a body that ultimately sets the University's level of aspiration in research. This commitment includes active research involvement throughout one's academic career, a recognition of the relationship between research and effective teaching, and an understanding of the role of research productivity in the faculty workload and reward structures.
The strategies proposed below must be interpreted in the context of several caveats: that research varies widely across disciplines in the resources required, in the expected products of research, and in the availability of external funding-a necessary condition for research in some fields, but minimally available in other disciplines; that quality must never be sacrificed for quantity; and that emphasis on research should jeopardize neither the central role of undergraduate or graduate teaching nor the University's fiscal integrity.
- Assure teaching assignments, compensation and other conditions for researching faculty that are competitive with peer universities to attract, retain and support outstanding researchers.
- Continue to hire as tenure-track faculty only those who are likely to be excellent teachers and to attain prominence as researchers; expect a national scholarly reputation and excellence in teaching as the criteria for full professor.
- Develop a university environment that acknowledges the centrality of research to Boston College's mission, that places a high priority on the needs of researching faculty, and that gives concomitant attention to facilities and services that support research: library, information technology, research administration, laboratories, and animal care facilities.
- Provide additional flexible research support at the discretion of the Academic Vice President and deans: expanded provision for paid leaves for untenured faculty, summer support, research expense funding, assistantships, and seed funding for post-doctoral fellowships in the sciences.
- Increase accountability measures for internal funding programs that support research.
- Increase the number of endowed chairs in order to recruit, retain and recognize leading scholars.
- Provide university professorships for distinguished Boston College professors to recognize exceptional performance.
- Provide initial funding for a small number of multidisciplinary policy, research and service centers dedicated to scholarship that benefits society, enriches culture, addresses important social issues or explores the intersection of religious belief and culture.
- Support external service activities that increase the recognition and contributions of Boston College faculty, including presentation of scholarly papers, participation on peer review panels, and leadership in academic societies.
4. Emphasize the distinctive Jesuit tradition of liberal education and of intellectual engagement between religious faith and contemporary culture.
Boston College derives its ethos from the distinctive humanistic tradition of Jesuit higher education. Over the four centuries of this tradition's evolution, three values have remained central: the responsibility and creative talent of human freedom to shape human culture, the mutually illuminating power of human intelligence and of Christian faith, and the education of the whole person. These values underlie the University's commitment not only to academic excellence and to the academic freedom on which excellence depends, but also to a respectful and productive dialogue between religious belief and autonomous academic disciplines. They underlie, as well, the liberal arts core present in each of the University's baccalaureate programs, and the emphasis on personal attention to the individual student as integral to the educational process.
The contemporary alienation of intellectual inquiry and teaching from a religious view of life is an issue of special interest to Boston College. A renewed dialogue between faith and contemporary culture requires a significant number of men and women in disciplines across the university whose search for truth acknowledges both the autonomy of the disciplines and value of religious experience. Faculty and staff from all parts of the University contribute to this dialogue in a variety of ways: implicitly when they pursue truth in their own disciplines; when they teach students to be critically reflective about knowledge and its uses; and when they attend fairly and openly to religious questions that arise in their disciplines or in dealing with students. More explicitly, they may emphasize issues of ethics, justice, and social responsibility and may take a direct interest in students' spiritual as well as their intellectual and social development. Or they may engage in explicit reflection and research on religious faith and cultural issues from the perspective of Catholic intellectual tradition and other religious traditions. All of these activities contribute to the Jesuit humanistic tradition of higher education.
In hiring decisions, it will be appropriate and desirable to recognize the importance of having represented in disciplines throughout the University faculty whose interests include research and teaching that contributes to the dialogue between religious belief and their disciplines. An ongoing development program should provide opportunity for discussion and reflection on the University's Jesuit and Catholic character for faculty, administrators and staff. The University should continue its efforts to recruit Jesuits.
Boston College should be an effective resource for the critical inquiry essential to the evolution of the Church's intellectual life. The University should engage in first-rate theological reflection, should develop or strengthen structures and programs that address the issues faced by the Catholic community and other church communities, locally and around the world, and should count among its graduates men and women prepared for ministry and leadership.
- Increase awareness that excellence in every academic discipline undertaken is integral to the humanistic tradition of Jesuit higher education.
- Continue to accord to liberal education a privileged place in the education of all Boston College undergraduates.
- Establish Boston College as a pre-eminent center for Catholic thought with the aim a) of extending and deepening the theological and philosophical understanding of the Catholic tradition and the mutually enriching relationship of Catholicism and other religious traditions, and b) of bringing an informed understanding of this tradition and values to the social, political and cultural development of society.
- Develop institutional structures that strengthen the scholarly dialogue between religious belief and other formative elements of culture throughout the University, that facilitate the participation of faculty members from different disciplines and that encourage student involvement in this dialogue.
- Attract and develop a significant number of faculty, administrators and staff who are interested in connecting religious faith and contemporary culture; maintain a strong effort to recruit Jesuits both nationally and internationally in order to insure the continued presence of Jesuits in the University community.
- Provide Catholic students who attend Boston College with appropriate opportunities to deepen their understanding of their faith.
- Provide ample opportunities for all students to grow spiritually by insuring that campus ministry has effective strategies and adequate resources, especially for liturgical and retreat programs; assure opportunities for graduate and professional students to engage in discourse about religious and intellectual views of life.
- Support student organizations and university initiatives that promote service both to the campus community and to the larger society, on local, regional and international levels.
- Insure that residential life supports the integration of the personal and intellectual lives of students; promote the development of positive lifestyle and community values inherent in the Catholic and Jesuit vision of reverence, respect and service to one another.
- Continue effective programs that prepare men and women for ministry in the Catholic community and leadership in Catholic institutions such as colleges, schools, hospitals, social agencies and parishes.
5. Enhance as distinctive characteristics of Boston College:
In pursuing its ambitious goals for the next decade, Boston College must preserve the strong sense of community that has become a distinctive feature of the University. Undergraduate as well as graduate and professional students acknowledge that a critical aspect of their education is the experience of a caring community among students and between students and faculty and staff. Similarly, mutual respect between faculty and administration has nurtured the high morale that has supported the success of Boston College in the past quarter century. These manifestations of community are consistent with the religious inspiration of Boston College that affirms the dignity of each individual as it strives to form an effective and caring educational community. In coming years, advances in communication technologies will provide opportunities for Boston College to incorporate parents and alumni more fully into its virtual community. The search for a new level of excellence should not diminish the spirit of community among students, faculty and staff which has made Boston College an exceptionally attractive place to study, to teach, and to work.
- the special sense of community,
- increased diversity,
- greater internationalization,
- technology as a competitive advantage, and
The presence of men and women from different racial, socio-economic, ethnic and religious groups is essential to the exchange of ideas and values critical to the University's intellectual life both in and outside the classroom. It also provides the context for preparing students to live and work in a diverse society and to be leaders in the search for a more just solution to the national and global issues that have divided one group from another. In this context, the University should devise more effective strategies for attracting and retaining persons of diverse backgrounds and fashion an environment that reflects and capitalizes on the richness and challenges of a diverse faculty, student body and staff. The commitment to diversity serves the Jesuit tradition of providing educational access to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in American higher education.
- Maintain the strong spirit of personal concern and mutual support within the student body and among students, faculty and staff-in the classroom, in cocurricular activities and in residential life.
- Assure appropriate opportunities for effective faculty participation in addressing campus-wide issues such as meetings of representative faculty with the higher administration on major academic issues, ad hoc university-wide faculty forums, faculty conversations with the President.
- Enhance orientation programs that introduce and welcome faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the Boston College community, including emphasizing how the Jesuit and Catholic character of Boston College reinforces personal concern and service to students.
- Continue to promote among all faculty and employees a sense of responsibility for the University that goes beyond individual job descriptions.
- Promote mentoring relationships among junior and senior faculty and among junior and senior administrative personnel.
As the world becomes more interdependent, Boston College must prepare its students for citizenship in a global society. The Jesuit commitment to education has from its beginning been an international enterprise. Today, Jesuit universities flourish throughout the world and form a receptive and supportive network through which Boston College can both enrich its own programs and extend its presence and influence internationally.
- Develop more aggressive, creative and effective programs to increase diversity among faculty, administrators and staff, including the more flexible use of positions in order to seize opportunities to hire outstanding candidates.
- Set high expectations for all academic administrators and assure that University evaluation and reward systems promote proactive inclusion of members of underrepresented groups among candidates for faculty positions.
- Insure racial, economic and ethnic diversity in undergraduate, graduate and professional student populations; continue Boston College's long-standing commitment to groups historically underrepresented in American higher education and to emerging groups that have a special interest in Catholic higher education, recognizing the value of this commitment to Boston College's strength and vitality.
- Assure the future diversity of student body, faculty and staff by providing effective, non-discriminatory systems of support and mentoring as part of an open and welcoming climate for all community members, including members of underrepresented groups.
The time is right for Boston College to become a more international university. Over its 135-year history, what started as a college for local commuting students became a regional university in the post-World War II era and emerged as a national university in the 1970s-80s. In order to fulfill its mission in the 21st century among the select group of universities which are its peers, the University must become a more international university over the next decade. The internationalization of Boston College should touch all aspects of its environment: undergraduate, graduate and professional students, curricula, research agenda, and faculty recruitment and interests.
Boston College's significant investments in a technological infrastructure, especially Project Agora, have enhanced the ways in which students, faculty and staff work and communicate. Future students will have substantial experience and facility with computing and communications hardware, software and information resources. As a result, prospective families and enrolled students will have increasingly high expectations of the technological infrastructure and services that leading private colleges should provide and will expect a technologically sophisticated learning environment and faculty.
- Extend Boston College's presence and influence in the global arena and provide strong international study, teaching, research, and service opportunities to the Boston College community through a network of partnerships with excellent universities in key areas of the world, with special attention to partnerships with Catholic and Jesuit institutions.
- Increase significantly the opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to incorporate international experience or service as part of their programs; enroll more international students in targeted graduate and professional programs and through student exchange programs.
- Increase the number of international faculty and faculty with international interests with special attention to recruiting Jesuits from other countries.
- Develop mechanisms that infuse an international perspective into undergraduate, graduate and professional curricula with a goal of making the campus environment more international.
Technology is and will remain a competitive advantage in higher education among the best universities. In the next decade, leading universities will seriously explore the potential of information technology both to increase administrative and academic effectiveness and to enhance productivity.
Boston College's challenge in the future will be to fashion a sharper vision of how technology can most effectively support the humanistic values and goals that shape its identity and learning community. The University must also maintain its technological infrastructure at a high level, and invest substantially in the support required for fuller and more effective use of the new technologies. Such investment is important for instruction and critical for research in numerous fields.
In its traditional commitment "ever to excel," Boston College seeks more effective ways to accomplish its goals. Measurement of faculty productivity must include both faculty scholarship and teaching effectiveness as well as the costs of providing instruction. In concert with higher education generally, the University must seek productivity gains to improve the quality of learning and research, to remain price-competitive with its peer institutions, and to insure broad access to a Boston College education.
- Strengthen and implement existing plans for the application of technology to instruction in ways that reinforce the traditional values of Boston College, especially the goals of liberal education and Jesuit emphasis on cura personalis.
- Provide the specialized computing and communications support required to make research a central element in the mission for Boston College and its goals in the next decade.
- Invest significantly in support and training for faculty and staff: 1) to test and develop the potential of computing and communications to transform the way that significant aspects of teaching and learning take place as well as to respond to an increasingly technologically sophisticated and demanding student body, and 2) to increase administrative and academic productivity in order to remain competitive.
- Insure the continuing development of a technological infrastructure that supports the academic and administrative progress of the University.
Comment on Resources
As the University pursues the levels of excellence implied by these strategies, the resources required are a critical consideration. The University's judgment on what is possible must be made in context that anticipates the rate of increase in college tuitions and expenditures in the next decade will not match the rates of increase in the recent past. At the same time, the Council recognizes that the goals and strategies it proposes will involve substantial expenditures. Many Council recommendations imply more effective use of the already substantial resources that Boston College devotes directly or indirectly to its academic programs. But many proposed initiatives will require additional resources, either new funding or resources reallocated from programs or activities judged less important than the new priorities. Preliminary analysis of the University's financial standing and encouragement from the highest levels of the University make the Council confident that the funding necessary to achieve the next level of excellence implied in this plan will be available.
- Develop incentives for departments and schools to establish processes for continuous improvement of their operations and to explore productivity increases in order to free resources for new goals and emphases such as more effective instruction, better advisement of students, and higher quality research. Review potential changes after examining class sizes, the number of elective courses offered, departmental and individual faculty autonomy in offering courses, the existence of small majors and programs, the viability of some graduate programs, and new approaches to advisement.
- Restructure workloads and pay incentives for departments and individual faculty to recognize different talents and contributions.
- Leverage current investments in computing and communications technologies to achieve administrative and academic productivity gains.
- Develop more effective procedures for continuous assessment of teaching and learning that go beyond current student evaluations.
- Retain flexibility and selectivity in the development of retirement incentives.
- Explore how existing University resources might be used to generate new sources of revenue.
Advancing the Legacy: The New Millennium lays out the academic agenda for Boston College for the next decade. Its proposals establish the criteria that will guide decisions of the schools and departments on curriculum, faculty, programs and support services through 2005. The first step in the implementation process is the establishment of an Implementation Committee.
The goal of the Implementation Committee, in consultation with the deans and their faculties, will be to assure that the goals proposed by the University Academic Planning Council will be translated into effective decisions. The Implementation Committee's overarching purpose will be to lead Boston College in the next decade to a new level of excellence and recognition in graduate education and research, in undergraduate education, and as a Catholic and Jesuit university.
To assure continuity between the planning and implementation phases, the Implementation Committee will consist of the members of the original University Academic Planning Council Steering Committee: the President, the Executive Vice President, the Academic Vice President, the Financial Vice President and the co-chairpersons of the University Academic Planning Council.
To accomplish its summative goal of leading Boston College to the next level of excellence, the Implementation Committee will translate the UAPC's broad collegial agreement on goals and general strategies into specific objectives, timetables and resource allocations. In some cases, it will make implementation decisions on the basis of existing data and analyses; in other cases, it will charge ad hoc or standing committees such as Educational Policy Committees to develop concrete proposals to achieve a specific UAPC objective. Deans will be involved at various levels throughout the process.
In all instances, the Implementation Committee will seek to translate the UAPC goals and strategies into measurable outcomes and into specific strategies and costs.
In a parallel effort, the Implementation Committee will develop alternative funding scenarios to test the implications of UAPC priorities for existing long-range capital and operating budget planning assumptions. These scenarios will explore the variety of sources from which funding might be drawn and project timetables for the accomplishment of the Plan's goals and objectives.
Appendix: University Academic Planning Council
(September, 1994-May, 1996)
J. Donald Monan, S.J. (President)*
Robert R. Newton, Co-Chairperson (Associate Academic Vice President)*
Michael A. Smyer, Co-Chairperson (Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)*
William B. Neenan, S.J., Titular Chairperson (Academic Vice President)*
Philip Altbach (Education)
Anthony T. Annunziato (Biology)
Joseph A. Appleyard, S.J. (English)
Jenny A. Baglivo (Mathematics)
Francis B. Campanella (Executive Vice President)*
Robert F. Capalbo (Housing)
Richard Cobb-Stevens, Chairperson (Philosophy)#
Mary J. Cronin (Management)
Stephen A. Dare (Development)
Donald Dietrich (Theology)
Rose Mary Donahue (Assistant to the President)*
Mary E. Duffy, Chairperson (Nursing)#
June G. Hopps (Dean, Graduate School of Social Work)
Sanford N. Katz (Law)
Robert S. Lay (Dean, Enrollment Management)
Suzanne M. Matson (English)
Hassell McClellan (Management)
Peter C. McKenzie (Financial Vice President and Treasurer)*
Gilda A. Morelli (Psychology)
Robert G. Murphy (Economics) (1994-95)
John J. Neuhauser, Chairperson (Dean, Management)#
Joseph M. O'Keefe, S.J. (Education)
Larry Ritzman, Chairperson (Management)#
Kay L. Schlozman, Chairperson (Political Science)#
Robert H. Smith (Law)
Richard W. Tresch (Economics) (1995-96)
Lawrence Wolff (History)
Jerome Yavarkovsky (University Librarian)
Stephen Haggerty (UAPC Staff)