U.A.P.C. To Initiate Next Phase This Week

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

The University Academic Planning Council will convene this week to resume its task of sketching a blueprint for the future of Boston College's academic life.

Beginning tomorrow, the UAPC will hold a series of meetings to reflect on its work of the last few months and initiate its next phase. Members will review a statement of University-wide goals drawn up last month by the council's Steering Committee, and discuss the University community' s response to its outreach thus far. The council will eventually combine the goals statement with recommendations in five key areas into a document that will be circulated later this fall, according to Associate Academic Vice President Robert Newton, who chairs the UAPC with Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smyer.

The UAPC is scheduled to present its final report to University President J. Donald Monan, SJ, during the current academic year.

"We have had some very thoughtful, frank and candid responses from the University community," Newton said. " Council members have been working hard to compile and examine these responses. It has been a good effort all around and we are gearing up for the final stages of work."

Fr. Monan formed the UAPC last fall to formulate new, long-range educational and research goals for the University and examine related resources. Earlier this year, after studying Boston College's academic and financial picture, along with bro ader trends, challenges and opportunities, the council produced its preliminary findings on several major aspects of the University. The council then split into five groups to further explore those areas: undergraduate education; graduate and professional education; Jesuit and Catholic identity; faculty roles and responsibilities; and research.

During the spring and summer, the UAPC provided an opportunity for public comment on its findings by holding a series of open forums and distributing questionnaires to all academic departments and programs. The forums and questionnaires were organized around the five focus areas. The responses were discussed at UAPC meetings in July and August involving Steering Committee members, deans and academic department repres entatives, which in turn led to the drafting of the goals statement.

The content of the hearings and questionnaires also will be the focus of two of the UAPC meetings this month, Newton said, as the council prepares for a round of sessions in October to de velop the draft report. The UAPC will inform the University community as to how the document will be made available and when there will be opportunities for comment, he added.

Newton said he and other UAPC members were impressed with the replies to the questionnaire, and in general with the public comment phase of the initiative.

"The amount of work done by the schools and departments has been amazing," Newton said. "They provided good insight into what they feel their strengths and weaknesses, and those of the University, are."

"We all learned a lot," said Prof. Kay Schlozman (Political Science), who chaired the UAPC group on research. "It is clear the schools and departments took seriously their mandate to answer the questionnaire."

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