Welcome to the new academic year! I write to share updates about the many things that have been happening on campus over the summer months, and to share with you some of the most important initiatives for the coming academic year.
In reflecting back over two years as Provost, it’s clear to me that the new structure for academic affairs has allowed us to achieve a number of goals that we would not have otherwise been able to achieve. These include:
Everyone receiving this letter has been involved in these efforts in one way or another. I am grateful that I work with individuals who are so thoughtful and collaborative, and who always put the best interests of our students at the forefront. Thank you.
Because the work of our three schools and the library has become so much more integrated, I am also re-instituting University-wide faculty meetings. We will start by holding one each semester, and we will use this time to discuss issues that are relevant to academic affairs more broadly, share important University updates, etc. The fall meeting is scheduled for November 20th, and the spring meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 18th. The agenda for these meetings will be crafted with representatives of the Theological School and Arts and Sciences Dean’s Councils. More information will be announced as these dates near.
The class of 2023 is the first undergraduate class to experience Launch, and significant work has happened over the summer to prepare for their arrival.
A quick note that the University will be beginning or completing three different accreditation processes this year. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the body that accredits our teacher education program, will be conducting their accreditation site visit this November. Many thanks to Kristen Turner for leading this project and to Brandie Waid and Nancy Vitalone-Raccaro for the tremendous amount of work they did to help get the report submitted. The Middle States and Association of Theological Schools accreditation processes will both begin during the 19-20 academic year and conclude with site visits during the 20-21 academic year. I want to thank Ryan Hinrichs and Hilary Kalagher for agreeing to chair the Middle States steering committee and Kate Ott and Melanie Johnson-Debaufre for chairing the ATS process.
This year promises to be exciting, busy and challenging. There is a lot to accomplish but I am convinced that together we are up to the task. I look forward to continuing our work, and to re-connecting with each of you in this new academic year.