UAPC Implementation Begins

Committee Acts On Goals, Forms Six Task Forces

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

After four months of discussion and planning, the committee responsible for implementing the goals of the University Academic Planning Council has made initial decisions in four areas and has announced the formation of six task forces.

The committee has taken specific action in regard to undergraduate education, graduate students, faculty, and graduate and professional programs.

"Implementing the UAPC report is a top priority for me this year," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ, chairman of the Implementation Committee. "I believe that achieving the goals of the UAPC will enable BC to move to the next level of excellence."

In addition to Fr. Leahy, the Implementation Committee includes Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, Financial Vice President and Treasurer Peter C. McKenzie, Associate Academic Vice President Robert Newton, and Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smyer.

Action in four areas

In the area of undergraduate education, the Implementation Committee is working to increase the number of undergraduates taught by full-time faculty. According to Newton, coordinator of the Committee, the University will convert some part-time faculty positions into full-time slots and selectively add new faculty in certain areas, a process that already has begun in some departments. The University is building this goal into its long-range financial plan, Newton added.

The Implementation Committee also is taking steps to increase selectively graduate and professional financial support to attract superior students. This also will be integrated into the University's long-range financial plan.

In the faculty area, the Committee is moving to retain and support outstanding researchers by assuring teaching assignments and other conditions for researching faculty are competitive with peer institutions. A University-wide analysis of how faculty members' time is allocated among teaching, research and University service activities is nearly complete, he said, and the University is calculating the resources required to implement this recommendation.

The Committee also has spent time discussing graduate and professional programs that can be enhanced so they can reach greater levels of academic prominence. Those discussions will continue in the coming weeks.

Task forces formed

In addition, the Implementation Committee has announced the formation of six task forces, which will propose plans of action for realizing goals outlined in the UAPC report.

One task force, chaired by Carroll School of Management Associate Dean Richard Keeley, will develop recommendations on enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning. It will address such areas as the measurement of teaching and learning effectiveness, emphasis on academic achievement within the undergraduate culture, improving the teaching effectiveness of part-time faculty and graduate students, diversity, the use of technology, and undergraduate advisement.

The Task Force on Undergraduate Formation will be co-chaired by Student Affairs Administrative Officer Nancy Goldsmith-Caruso and Assoc. Prof. Patrick Byrne (Philosophy). It will formulate initiatives aimed at enhancing the development of undergraduates' personal, ethical and religious growth, and at increasing opportunities for students of all faiths to grow spiritually. Also, it will look at integrating residential and academic life more effectively, in keeping with BC's Catholic and Jesuit values. The faculty's role in the development of the whole student and the use of diversity to promote understanding and personal growth are other areas the task force will consider.

The Task Force on Research and Graduate Education, chaired by Smyer, will take up the UAPC goal of strengthening and supporting research as a central aspect of Boston College's mission. It will explore the provision of initial support to a small number of multi-disciplinary initiatives that focus on scholarship, important social issues, or the dialogue between religious faith and contemporary culture. Among the many other areas the task force will examine are: the establishment of a council to foster interdisciplinary cooperation and support for research and graduate education; the provision of additional, flexible research support; increased accountability for internal research funding programs; and the provision of facilities to support a researching faculty.

The Task Force on Faculty Development will consider faculty mentoring of undergraduates, faculty development programs, mentoring relationships between junior and senior faculty and administrators, and the application of technology to instruction in support of BC's Jesuit and liberal education values, among other areas. University Librarian Jerome Yavarkovsky will serve as chairman.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin P. Duffy will lead the Task Force on Graduate and Professional Student Life. It will focus on strengthening infrastructure support, increasing financial assistance for graduate and professional students of color, providing students with the opportunity to grow spiritually, promoting service, and ensuring diversity among the graduate and professional student body.

Monan Professor of Education Philip Altbach will chair the task force charged with boosting internationalization in all dimensions of Boston College. It will look at how to increase international student and faculty representation at BC, while finding ways to raise the University's educational and research profile globally and prepare students for the global society.

Newton said each task force will be asked to submit a detailed report in early March specifying how each goal will be achieved and implemented. Each report will present a prioritized list of expected outcomes, together with resource implications, methods for assessing progress in achieving the outcomes, and a proposed timetable for implementation.

Task force memberships are expected to be finalized shortly, Newton said.

Return to Nov. 14 menu

Return to Chronicle home page