The visioning effort had three distinct phases - Introduction to the Visioning,Deeper Discussions, and Integration and Recommendations - culminating in a report of recommendations to the Provost. 


  1. The Academic Futures Committee: The Provost invites nominations and volunteers for a committee to oversee the Rethinking the University process, comprised of faculty, staff and students. 
    1. Convener: Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs, Jeff Cox.
    2. Responsibilities:  
      1. Convene meetings across campus with all community members
      2. Review ideas and information that arise in this process
      3. Incorporate and stay in conversation with the planning processes already underway on campus and in the schools and colleges (e.g., campus reaccreditation, campus master plan, local strategic planning efforts, etc.).
      4. Provide recommendations to the provost and the campus.
    3. Nominations (including self-nominations) are due by September 15, 2017.
  2. Campus Listeners: The Provost invites nominations and volunteers for Campus Listeners, who will be responsible for ensuring all members of the campus community have an immediate point of contact for questions, comments and concerns related to the process. This large group of colleagues will serve to bring ideas to the Academic Futures Committee, as well as answering questions about the work of the committee.
    1. Nominations (including self-nominations) are due by September 15, 2017.​
  3. Call for Community White Papers:  The Provost invites the campus community to submit white papers that focus on specific issues or opportunities that this visioning process provides. Abstracts of the white papers will be posted on the website and will be used to inform conversations at various meetings. Read more about the call for community white papers.
    1. White papers are due by December 15, 2017.
  4. Campus engagement and communication: To support openness and transparency for this process, a website has been created to enable the campus to know when and where meetings are to be held, to offer pathways to provide input to the effort, and to provide weekly reports from meetings throughout this process. 


  1. Introduction to the Visioning (September - October 2017): The goal of this phase is to introduce the campus and its community to the visioning process. Convened by Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs Jeff Cox, these conversations introduce the Committee and the listeners, allow the committee to get to know various concerned groups and work to build trust in this process. All members of our community, faculty, staff, and students, are invited and encouraged to participate in these meetings. Discussions at these meetings will be taken down by a scribe, and a summary will be posted on the website. These documents will be reports of ideas, not recommendations, decisions, etc. Please note that we will be in touch with various groups to request meetings; groups can also request meetings through the website.
  2. Deeper Discussions (October - December 2017): After ideas and aspirations are gathered through initial meetings and through the website, Academic Futures will convene a series of more focused, facilitated conversations. These may center on particular issues and ideas or bring together particular groups around education, scholarly work, and service and leadership. Professional facilitators will be on hand to guide the conversations and to record ideas, with these reports again being posted to website. Summaries of ideas that emerge during discussions will be created after the themed conversations come to a close in December. Academic Futures will also convene shorter Faculty Forums on such key issues as faculty governance and the criteria used in faculty evaluations. The ideas arising from these meetings will also be posted on the website. During this period, Academic Futures will also take ideas in the form of notes posted to the web site or more formal white papers.
  3. Integration and recommendations (begins Spring 2018):  The Academic Futures Committee will discuss and review these summaries and the rest of the combined input from the campus (including white papers, e-mails, notes from town halls, themed discussions, Faculty Forums and departmental discussions). Throughout the spring, the committee will regularly preview themes likely to appear in the final report with the campus community, seeking further feedback.  The Committee will issue a draft report to the campus by September, 2018. By October 1, 2018, the Provost and the SVC, taking the report along with other comments and recommendations under advisement, will issue final recommendations regarding the academic vision and will open discussions of how to put these ideas into practice.

Updated Nov. 2017
Archived as Phase I: Visioning Jan. 2019