Our strategic planning effort has identified a number of important recommendations for us to advance all five strategic priorities above. These recommendations come from the faculty Task Forces and faculty/staff working groups, whose ideas inform our plan. Additional detail about all of the initiatives recommended by the Task Forces and working groups can be found in the Appendix. Outlined below are seven initial initiatives, several of which incorporate multiple recommendations from the Task Forces; further initiatives will continue to be developed. We plan to launch these initial initiatives now in order to aggressively pursue our work in advancing our five strategic priorities. Each of these initiatives links with and advances all five strategic priorities.
Expanded BU Center for the Humanities (BUCH)
Position BU to become an internationally recognized leader in the integration of humanistic scholarship and teaching with the professional schools; provide a vibrant and dynamic home for the humanities community at BU; and enhance contributions and partnerships with Boston-area and national initiatives in the humanities, including public humanities. This will be done by establishing a university-wide center for the humanities that builds on the tremendous strengths of the current BUCH with new and expanded activities, including competitive outside fellowships, annual research themes, a postdoctoral fellowship program, university-wide events, and expanded student programming.
New Center for Innovation in the Social Sciences
Advance, accelerate, and amplify the social sciences at BU and our contributions to addressing pressing global challenges, by bringing together our impressive range of strengths in the social sciences into a shared community enhanced by research incubation, support, and promotion. This will be done by creating a center that provides a home for cross-cutting research across BU’s social science departments, programs, and related programs and institutes.
Arts & Sciences Society of Postdoctoral Fellows
Establish BU as a leader among our peers in addressing historic gaps in the faculty pipeline by proactively recruiting first-rank scholars from diverse backgrounds; bringing fresh new ideas to campus; advancing the postdocs’ research and teaching; and contributing to raising the Arts & Sciences profile as a home for inclusivity and scholarly development. This will be done by launching an interdisciplinary community of distinguished junior scholars.
Recruiting & Growing Our Talent
Build on Arts & Sciences’ leadership position as a home for outstanding students, faculty, and staff, where community members are valued stakeholders in shaping our mission, personal and professional growth/development is promoted, and achievements are recognized and celebrated, thereby becoming a recognized model and leader amongst our peers. This will be done by continuing to recruit the world’s very best talent, offering world-class facilities, endowed professorships for faculty, and access to scholarships for students; strengthening our professional and career development opportunities, including a new expanded mentorship program for faculty and staff; and enhancing the mechanisms to promote and acknowledge the contributions and achievements of our community members.
Reinvigorating Graduate Education
Enhance the stature of the Graduate School’s programs and ensure we prepare our graduates for success and leadership beyond BU. This will be done by taking an integrated approach to graduate education that extends beyond research and scholarly training to provide an environment in which all our students thrive, with access to stronger services and resources for student wellness, health, and financial well-being while pursuing their studies, and access to career-focused skill building and experiences for their years after degree completion.
Arts & Sciences in Action
Ensure our undergraduate students have the tools and opportunities to explore and discover the tremendous range of possibilities within Arts & Sciences that will maximize their degree experience and prepare them for whatever the future might hold. This will be done by adopting a holistic approach that integrates our considerable strengths in undergraduate teaching and learning, innovating at the forefront of the University’s signature undergraduate education program, the BU HUB, and expanding the range of exciting experiential learning opportunities available to our students; creating a connector for Arts & Sciences students to help identify pathways for leveraging their student experiences and utilizing career development and alumni networks; developing cutting-edge, co-taught, interdisciplinary courses; and adopting inclusivity into introductory-level courses, among other activities.
Deepen Investment in Infrastructure
Enable cutting-edge research and teaching through focused investment in the structures needed to achieve our top priorities. This will be done by addressing infrastructure needs in areas such as enhancing teaching and research laboratories across all disciplines, providing a centralized data infrastructure, ensuring access to shared equipment, creating appropriate spaces for collaborative work and learning activities, and offering research support as well as library and digital infrastructure.
In addition to these initiatives, Arts & Sciences has a pivotal role in many of the initiatives outlined in the University-wide 2030 Strategic Plan. For example, major University initiatives like the Center for Antiracist Research, the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, the Initiative on Cities, and the Sustainability Initiative are led by Arts & Sciences faculty. Arts & Sciences is an essential leader in undergraduate education, including the BU Hub, as well as a key partner for the University Libraries and the home for humanities at BU.
By thinking holistically about research and education, disciplines and interdisciplinarity, it is possible to spark novel insights, discover innovative breakthroughs, and imagine new solutions to pressing issues.