Executing against the Strategic Plan in every way. Firing on all cylinders. Full speed ahead. At cruising altitude. Whichever metaphor you wish to use, the Strategic Plan is working—and working well—across the entire University. From hiring to housing, research to reconstruction, it is the standard by which everything at BU is being measured and executed.
New leadership at the University
The very first goal outlined in the Strategic Plan is to hire, promote and retain faculty members who are “excellent teachers, as well as leaders in research, scholarship and professional accomplishment.” The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) is a particular focus. Dean Virginia Sapiro has completed her first full year at the University by recruiting a total of 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. This is just the first step in a process that is planned to bring 100 new faculty to CAS alone over the next 10 years.
Hiring has been much in evidence in leadership positions as well. This past year brought new deans to the School of Education (SED), the School of Social Work (SSW), the School of Theology (STH), the Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) and the College of Communication (COM). Moving forward, the University will continue to engage the best possible faculty—those individuals whose commitment to research, teaching and academic leadership is without equal.
A new way to acknowledge excellence in teaching
In 2008, the University instituted the Warren Professorships, which will recognize BU’s most distinguished faculty and their contributions to teaching and research. The goal is to identify 12–15 professors over the next few years who meet certain criteria and award each of them an endowed chair supported by the William Fairfield Warren fund. This important new award continues the tradition of the Metcalf Awards, both the Metcalf Cup and Prize and the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, which also recognize superior teaching at Boston University.
Deans, deans and more deans
School of Education: Hardin Coleman comes to the School of Education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he had been the ad interim associate dean of Wisconsin’s School of Education since 2004 and a professor of counseling psychology. A graduate of Williams College, he earned a master’s in counseling from the University of Vermont and a doctorate in counseling from Stanford University.
School of Social Work: Gail Steketee, dean ad interim of the School of Social Work, officially dropped the “ad interim” from her job title on June 1, 2008. Steketee, who had been the provisional head of SSW since 2005, earned an undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College and a master’s degree and a PhD from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She joined BU in 1986.
School of Theology: Mary Elizabeth Moore is slated to take over as Dean of the School of Theology in January 2009. Currently a professor of religion and theology and director of the Women in Theology and Ministry program at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Moore earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s and a doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology.
School of Dental Medicine: Jeffrey Hutter was appointed Dean of the Goldman School of Dental Medicine, having served as interim dean since November 2007. A professor of endodontics and the first incumbent of the Spencer N. Frankl Chair in Dental Medicine, Hutter earned a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania, a certificate in endodontics from the Naval Postgraduate Dental School and a master’s in education and human development from George Washington University.
College of Communication: Tom Fiedler is well acquainted with BU and the College of Communication: he earned a master’s in journalism at COM in 1971. He then joined the Miami Herald, where he worked for more than 30 years as an investigative reporter, a political columnist, the editorial page editor and, finally, the executive editor, from 2001 to 2007. During his time at the Herald, Fiedler’s investigative work earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize. The Herald’s entire staff won another Pulitzer in 1993 for coverage of Hurricane Andrew.
A new emphasis on multidisciplinary education
In his role as Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, Victor Coelho has been given the mandate to break down the institutional barriers of the undergraduate academic experience and give students “a passport to the fascinating areas of learning that can be found in every quadrant.”
Toward that end, a task force chaired by Coelho began meeting every two weeks to discuss how to achieve these objectives and lay the groundwork for implementing them next year. Issues being addressed include:
- How do we erode the silo culture that’s typical of university life and ensure that students have unfettered access to all of BU’s academic offerings?
- What constitutes the general education requirement of a BU student?
- What are the innovations that could help students in their quest for all-access learning?
- What sort of co-curricular/experiential learning can be used to complement a student’s academic experience?
The University also implemented a course description database that allows students to see how a single topic threads its way through all the course offerings at BU. The community can also tap into the new iTunes U, a multimedia, creative and portable classroom, featuring prerecorded lectures specifically designed for a class by the professor; classroom discussions, multimedia presentations, demonstrations and downloadable lectures from the iTunes U site; and archived resources.
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