Strategic Plan 2000 Synopsis

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

1. Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
2. National Leadership in Arts and Humanities: Institute for Advanced Creative Exploration and PAVAC 2 and 3
3. Ecology, Center for Emerging Tropical and Global Diseases, School of Marine Sciences
4. Workforce Development in Computing and Mathematical Sciences
5. Outreach
6. Administration and Information Technology

 

Introduction: This synopsis presents the main focal points of the Strategic Plan developed by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The College is committed to maintaining or building excellence in all its programs. The following areas are ones to which the College will give special emphasis in the next decade.

Budget: This proposed plan would require a continuing budget of $4,014,692 from the College of Arts and Sciences and of $2,986,250 from other sources, presumably half from state monies and half from through development and external grants. This plan also proposes approximately $173 million in money for construction of buildings for the School of Art, Drama, The Georgia Museum of Art, Marine Sciences, Ecology, Chemistry, and the Center for Emerging Global and Tropical Diseases, to be raised by the University through legislative efforts and fund-raising. The College of Arts and Sciences will provide its portion of this budget through redirection of existing resources.

1. Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

$1,205,000

Across the nation major colleges and universities are reemphasizing the importance of undergraduate education. Undergraduate students are the heart of the University of Georgia, and providing them with a high quality education is a central reason for its existence. The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing a first-class instructional program for undergraduate students. We will strive to provide our students with a learning environment that stresses the value of a liberal education, excellence in teaching, and meaningful contact with faculty. We will provide continuing and enhanced support to programs that foster a student-centered educational environment. These programs enhance the quality of student life and in particular learning opportunities in the subject areas that form the traditional core of a liberal education: English, mathematics, foreign languages, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. This plan proposes providing expanded support for the Writing Intensive Program, Freshman Seminars, and the Mathematics pre-calculus learning labs, which were conceived to provide additional individual attention to undergraduate students. The College also proposes to enhance support for the Biology and Chemistry learning labs, which utilize instructional technology to provide a high-quality computer-based testing environment; and to implement a program for providing faculty and classrooms with modern computers and other instructional equipment on a continuing basis to insure continuing and improving use of technology in the classrooms. Enhanced support for all of these programs will enable the College and the University to maintain and raise the level of instruction our students receive. The most highly ranked universities in the nation are known not only for their research and graduate programs but also for their excellent programs in undergraduate studies.

International Programs: Current and future UGA graduates will encounter a world where space and time are increasingly compressed. In such a future virtually all occupations will have frequent global interactions as information and communications technologies link all parts of the world. To enable our students to function effectively in this environment, we must provide them with a broader global academic experience that promotes appreciation of other cultures and traditions. To reinforce the traditional role of international and intra-cultural studies as part of all College degree programs, the College Strategic Plan proposes to add new faculty positions in carefully selected international areas such as African Studies, Latin and Central American Studies, GLOBIS, and East and South Asian Studies. The further development of international programs will benefit departments across the College, from the social sciences to the humanities and the environmental sciences.

Lower-Division Language Teaching: The College proposes to continue its development of diverse foreign language and cultural studies programs. One immediate prospect in the Asian languages is Hindi. With its rich tradition of literature, history, and culture, Hindi is the official business language in India, the world's largest democracy. A Hindi Language Program will provide students with proficiency in the most important cultural and business language of India and its billion inhabitants. The addition of other Asian or African languages will help prepare University students to play a role in economic and cultural relationships the United States is forging in Asia and Africa. We will also at the appropriate time introduce new course sequences in Scandinavian and Eastern European languages, and in modern Hebrew. The creation of new language programs, and continued support for existing language programs, is essential to the development of international research and instructional programs at the University. They will be accompanied by the development of study abroad programs that allow students to be immersed in the culture of the languages they are learning. Language proficiency provides the basis for scholarly and practical applications in international business, medicine, and agriculture. Its importance cannot be overstated.

2. National Leadership in the Arts and Humanities: The Institute for Advanced Creative Exploration and PAVAC 2 and 3

$2,317,942

The Institute for Advanced Creative Exploration: Proposed by schools and programs in the arts, the Institute for Advanced Creative Exploration will undertake an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to collaboration between the arts and related fields. Faculty at the University have identified the interface between the arts and technology as a point of common interest that has already garnered significant recognition for the University. The proposed Institute would generate significant opportunities for external funding both from federally and private sources. This new institute will be an interdisciplinary endeavor that cuts across traditional boundaries separating Art, Music, Drama, Dance, and the humanities. It will build and focus attention on the creative potential of new technologies and media in the arts and will encourage interdisciplinary and inter-media collaborations. The Institute will invite artists on the cutting edge of art forms that utilize new media and technologies to campus, and will seek significant support from grants and private funding opportunities in the corporate world. Among the areas that would likely form the heart of this new collaboration are such areas as computer art and computer animation, computer technology used in dramatic performance and design, film studies, creative writing and the New Music Center in the School of Music, which supports the performance of both contemporary as well as electronic music.The creation of new faculty positions in film studies and creative writing will specifically benefit the humanities and will address as well the goals of the first theme of this strategic plan, excellence in undergraduate instruction.

PAVAC 2 and PAVAC 3: The completion of planning and construction for the second phase of PAVAC will provide the School of Art, and along with it the Center for Advanced Creative Exploration, a new building appropriate designed to accommodate the needs of the school, its students and faculty, and the changing face of the arts. The fact that the School of Art has achieved the success it currently enjoys, given the absence of a suitable building and the dispersal of the faculty over the campus in at least eleven separate locations, is a real tribute to the talent and hard work of the faculty and staff of the School. Better facilities that allow the various studios and areas that make up the School to be located in a central location will improve morale among faculty and students and enhance collegial interactions. The proximity of the new Art building, and of the building for Drama that should follow, to the Music building, and to the expanded Art Museum and the Performing Arts Center, will encourage the sort of interactive collaboration among the Arts that the Institute will seek to encourage and support. The expanded Georgia Museum of Art, to be funded with externally raised monies, will enhance the new Fine Arts campus that results from this building program and will make the University of Georgia a leading collegiate force in the arts regionally and nationally. Projected cost of the PAVAC projects is 67 million dollars.

The College further proposes to build the creative writing program in the English Department. A recent external review suggested this program can become in short order a highly ranked program in the nation. New undergraduate degree programs in African American Studies and Women's Studies will also enhance the diversity of the undergraduate curriculum in the humanities.

3. Ecology, The Center for Emerging Tropical and Global Diseases, The School of Marine Sciences

$1,025,000

Because the University of Georgia does not have a medical school, it has not in the past deeply engaged in biomedical research. This intra-college and interdisciplinary biomedical initiative seeks to move the University towards the forefront in biomedical research by exploiting developments in a number of fields. It seeks to strengthen our research programs in molecular parasitology, genomics, and biotechnology and to draw the University into collaboration with other colleges and universities, particularly the Medical College of Georgia. Biomedical research has the potential to attract substantial external research grants and to provide educational and research experiences to our students in areas that are in great demand. While National Science Foundation funding was recently increased by less than 10%, funding from the National Institute for Health was doubled. The new Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases is an outstanding example of the sort of UGA biomedical program that requires expansion.

Ecology: The University's strength in ecological studies will be an important complement to the biomedical initiative. The Institute of Ecology is one of the oldest such programs in the nation. Our Environmental Studies Program has been ranked at number 16 in the nation by the National Research Council's analysis of graduate research programs in the 1990s. Diversification and enhancement of this program will enable the University to play a leading role as this area of research and study continues to develop. Interdisciplinary collaborations with such departments as Anthropology, Geography, and the Biological Sciences will further enhance the potential value of this program. The strategic plan proposes 30 million in construction costs for a new building for Ecology.

The Center for Emerging Tropical and Global Diseases is a cross-college collaborative effort between Arts and Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine. It will build on the research of our scientists who are utilizing modern technology in molecular biology, chemistry, immunology, genetics, and other fields. It seeks to focus research and educational attention on formerly tropical diseases that have emerged from the isolated forests and jungles of their origin and that are now having a significant impact on a world-wide basis. In addition to the suffering they cause, they have become an international health issue with potentially damaging consequences for the world economy and international relations. The heart of the biomedical initiative involves some of the most pressing problems of the global world-AIDS, malaria, schistomyosis, Chagas disease, and other infectious diseases. Also included are diseases of animals that play an important role in Georgia agriculture. Through the biomedical initiative the University can forge fruitful relationships with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Emory University, and the Medical College of Georgia. The projected cost of a building for the center will be 10 million dollars.

The School of Marine Programs provides educational and research opportunities in all aspects of the marine environment. This relatively new program already secures more external funding for research grants than any other unit in the College, and its reputation is rapidly building. The Sapelo Marine Institute fostered pioneering studies on salt marsh ecosystems that have had enormous practical applications for marine fisheries. Further development of the School will have a significant positive impact on the state's marine resources and will make it a leading research and extension centers of its type in the nation. It will also enhance opportunities for collaboration with Geography, Geology, History, and other units of the University. Sapelo Island on Georgia's coast is a resource of immense value to our strong research and instructional programs in the Marine Sciences. Both the laboratory facilities and the residential and instructional facilities for students have deteriorated and need renovation or replacement. With a reasonable investment the University could gain a research and educational resource that could not be purchased at any price elsewhere in the nation. We propose that Sapelo Island and its Marine Institute be incorporated into the School of Marine Programs to provide seamless administration from campus to coast. Given the existing strengths of our Marine Sciences programs, which lead all other units in the College in receiving external grant support, the rehabilitation of Sapelo could be the cornerstone of a genuine center of excellence in instruction and research for the University of Georgia. The plan proposes 6 million dollars in construction and renovations for Marine Programs.

4. Workforce Development in Computing and Mathematical Sciences

$805,000

The new millennium will clearly be an age of information and technology. Our departments of Computer Science, Statistics, and Mathematics stand at the center of this interdisciplinary nexus. The need for skilled graduates in computer sciences and allied fields where computation is important is growing faster than state schools can produce them. Governor Barnes has called for strengthening computer science programs and increasing the number of computer science graduates in the state of Georgia. The computational and informational sciences interface with virtually every subject area taught at the University, including the arts, humanities, and the natural sciences. Our programs in these fields are gaining recognition; the number theory program was recently recognized as the tenth best such program in the nation. The potential for heightened national recognition, external funding both federal and private, and a burgeoning job market make building and strengthening programs in this area a primary focus for the College and the University. Undergraduate as well as graduate students are clamoring for admission to degree programs in Computer Sciences. There is a need for a careful yet rapid expansion of the programs in Computer Sciences. The Yamacraw Mission is providing funds for new faculty lines in the department, including one distinguished senior position, and there is the opportunity for more such positions in the future. By adding new faculty and support positions, we propose to develop a fully rounded department that can serve undergraduate and graduate student needs alike and that can play a major role in North Georgia's growing industry in information technology, telecommunications, biotechnology, and the "chip" industry.

5. Outreach

$1,285,000

In two outreach areas the College proposes significant expansion. The State Museum of Natural History is poised to become a major state-wide resource. The College shares support of the Museum with Public Service and Outreach. Increased support will enable the Museum to enlarge its operations and better prepare for the building it will soon be able to make its home. As the needs of the expanding programs at the University grow, the importance of an effective development program at the College level becomes all the more apparent. The College proposes to add two development officers to its staff. They will provide assistance to departments that need to become active in development activities-units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in particular. They will help to secure funds for new and enhanced programs that will increasingly rely on external funding sources for financial support. An enhanced development programs will be necessary to provide supplementary support to many of the initiatives proposed in this strategic plan.

Arts and Sciences collaborates with the Office of the Vice President for Service and Outreach in support of the Museum of Natural History, which was recognized last year by the state legislature as the official natural history museum of Georgia. The Museum provides resources for research in flora and fauna of the state and the region. It is an educational resource for students at the University, for public schools at all PK-12 levels, and for citizens across the state. The Museum needs a facility for displaying its collections, for research, and for storage and maintenance of its considerable collections in virtually every category of natural organisms. The Museum provides strength in the area of systematics, which interfaces with the Environmental Sciences in particular. The Museum is just beginning to receive much deserved recognition as a valuable resource to the state.

6. Administration and Information Technology

$363,000

By providing effective and efficient administration at all levels, the Franklin College can free faculty and students for study and research and can provide better support and planning for its instructional programs. Enhancements in Internet and web-based technology and informational technology provide means for the College to improve the accountability of its operations. We propose to take advantage of these technologies to overhaul and refine the administration of the College at all levels into a paperless, electronic set of procedures and transactions.

  Arts and Sciences   Other funds  
Totals: $4,014,692   $2,966,250  
   
New construction
Center for Emerging Global and Tropical Diseases $10,000,000
Marine Sciences Construction and Renovations $6,000,000
PAVAC II and III $67,000,000
Institute for Advanced Creative Exploration $10,000,000
Chemistry Building $50,000,000
Environmental Sciences Building $30,000,000
  $173,000,000