Action on Issues Teams Recommendations: Moving Forward

11-27-2013

A good deal of substantive progress has been made in moving forward on both the recommendations from and feedback related to the four reports from  Issues Teams tasked with considering how the University can best move ahead in four key areas: Creating a Campus Environment to Support Interdisciplinary Work; Fostering a Healthier Campus; Creating a Campus-Wide Strategy for Technology, Teaching, and Learning; and Closing the Graduation Gap.

As many of you already know, each of the four reports was sent to a secondary group of individuals who had expressed interest in the issue explored, but who were not on the original Issues Team, for their feedback. After that feedback was received, the four reports were posted online for the larger MSU community to review and provide feedback. 

Cumulatively, all of this went into consideration of how to best proceed with each set of recommendations; and each cumulative review led to a different outcome for next steps, depending on the recommendations and the issue. For example, the Creating a Campus-Wide Strategy for Technology, Teaching, and Learning set of recommendations was advanced by way of an innovation workshop on learning by design called "The Future of Learning + Instructional Space Design" (organized by Associate Provost Doug Estry, along with Associate Provost Karen Klomparens) where teams of faculty and students met to discuss new configurations of instruction and space. This event led to a meeting with Steelcase, and, subsequently, a proposal we’re now putting together for an innovation hub where we will experiment with technology, pedagogy, and space. It also will result in some competitive internal "academic competitiveness grants" for innovations in teaching, learning, and technology. Fundamentally, this work is directly linked with and integrated into much of the work already underway in our campus Neighborhoods, work related to providing and enhancing academic support, and work related to closing the graduation gap. The fact that such interrelated and "cross-issue" actions emerged so quickly—and so naturally—suggests that much of our work moving forward will engage a broad spectrum of change agents from different areas of the MSU community working  collaboratively around a common cause.  

The Fostering a Healthier Campus  set of recommendations led to the commission of a faculty, staff, and student group attending a national meeting on how to move to a tobacco-free campus. Leaders from across campus have met since then, to reflect and engage in additional discussion. A faculty leader to create and coordinate a campus-wide plan will be announced in the next few weeks.

Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Steve Hsu will be overseeing actions that will emerge from the recommendations and feedback related to Creating a Campus Environment to Support Interdisciplinary Work. Future reports on progress in that area will come from him.

Finally, attention to advancing the recommendations put forth by all four of the Issues Teams is reflected in the annual planning cycle of each college and academic support unit. Leaders are deliberately working to integrate the efforts of each report’s recommendations into their planning as appropriate and in tandem with relevant partners.

I remain encouraged by the level of commitment and energy put forth by our community in these four key areas. The bold and swift actions of many of you, from across all areas of campus, continue to advance progress in each area, bringing us all one step closer to realizing the positive outcomes that will advance our culture of high performance.