March 25, 2014
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
We are writing today to announce that we have finalized the Committee on Academic Unit Organization and the Committee on the Near- and Long-Term Impact of Instructional Technology. Committee members have been selected based on the input of the chancellors and the deans, the chairs of the Faculty Council and University Senate, and faculty and staff nominations from across Rutgers. Thank you to those who nominated colleagues and those who volunteered to serve. As you can imagine, we had an embarrassment of riches, with scores of names being put forward.
As outlined in our strategic plan’s first Strategic Priority—Envision Tomorrow’s University—the Committee on Academic Unit Organization will examine how best to organize our academic units as we respond to the evolving educational demands of research-intensive, education-focused residential and urban-based universities. Members of this group will review the current organization of our academic units and make recommendations to the University community and the administration for potential realignments that would allow our faculty to collaborate more effectively in their teaching and research efforts. The committee will also consider the best structures for units that span multiple campuses and offer recommendations for potential new schools or academic units that will move our institution forward and align us, where appropriate to our mission, more closely with other great public universities.
The Committee on the Near- and Long-Term Impact of Instructional Technology will assess our educational technology infrastructure and make recommendations for how to improve delivery in order to better respond to the educational needs of our students. Composed of faculty and instructional technology experts, this group will be charged with developing a tactical institutional plan for exploring, testing, and implementing technology in our teaching and learning environments. The committee will draw on the expertise of faculty and members of our technical staff to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of pedagogical tools and digital environments that range from “flipped” and synchronous classrooms to MOOCs, interactive online courses, simulation technology, and other innovative educational technology. It will also review the effectiveness of learning management systems (LMSs) such as Blackboard, Sakai, and eCollege, and recommend a path for unifying and evergreening these technologies.
We are grateful to the members of these committees (listed below) for the considerable time commitment they will make over the next year and a half to two years. The Committee on Academic Unit Organization will produce an interim report after one year and a final report after two years. The Committee on the Near- and Long-Term Impact of Instructional Technology will produce an interim report in eight months and a final report in eighteen months. Both committees will report directly to the President’s Office, to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and to the chancellors.
The work of these important committees will help guide the organization of Rutgers’ academic units and help ensure our faculty have the necessary instructional technology to teach effectively in the 21st century, enabling us to envision tomorrow’s university. We look forward to reading the committee reports.
Richard L. Edwards
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Chancellor (Interim) New Brunswick
We would like to thank the following individuals for agreeing to serve on these committees:
Committee on Academic Unit Organization
Ah-Ng Tony Kong
David Dante Troutt
Committee on the Near- and Long-Term Impact of Instructional Technology
Gretchen Van de Walle
In addition, one undergraduate and one graduate student will be named to this committee in the next week.