Input sought for Academic Plan

All members of the university community are invited to provide input and discuss the draft Academic Plan at a meeting to be held Sept. 21 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

The meeting, hosted by President Martha Piper and Vice-President, Academic and Provost, Barry McBride, will take place from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

The plan aims to address the diverse opportunities and challenges UBC faces and provide a framework to guide academic units in setting priorities for developing their own academic plans.

A variety of resources, including a new Academic Opportunity Fund and a revised Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, will be available to help realize the initiatives identified in the plans crafted by academic units.

The draft is available on the Academic Plan Advisory Committee Web site at Copies of the plan will also be printed and distributed prior to the meeting.

During the past year, a 35-member committee representing a broad cross-section of UBC faculty, staff and students and chaired by Commerce and Business Administration Prof. Michael Goldberg, has met with members of the campus community and the public to draft the academic plan.

The need for an academic plan was identified at the outset of the Trek 2000 vision statement.

Consistent with the goals outlined in Trek 2000, the plan proposes strategies for maintaining quality and fostering innovation in a context of tight budgets while preserving the academic freedom and independent critical thinking and learning that are central to a university.

It sets out broad planning goals and priorities in five key areas: retention and renewal of faculty and staff; the student learning environment; extension of research excellence; strengthening links with the communities the university serves; and effective governance.

Among its proposals are that faculty, researchers and staff be appropriately recognized for helping to realize Trek 2000 goals, increased financial support for students, improvements to research infrastructure, and mechanisms to encourage the participation of the broader community in educational initiatives.

The plan also proposes governance planning and reform to facilitate the proposed integrative goals, eliminate redundancies in university functions, and enhance flexibility and innovation in order to make more time available to faculty, staff, and students. It also includes a process for realizing the goals with special reference to sources of funding.