September 8 , 2010
Once again a new academic year is upon us. Our students are back on campus and the campus is abuzz with activity. Although our student headcount becomes official after the tenth day, early indications suggest that our total College enrollment has increased again this year.
Several new faculty members have joined our College family this fall. We will publicly welcome them to the College at our fall faculty reception on October 7. The provost has approved up to six new faculty hires for next fall based on our hiring plan for the College. Given the challenging budget environment, we will limit our hiring to the most critical positions needed to meet our teaching, research and outreach missions.
During the summer, several changes occurred in the College administration. After an internal search, Roger Adams has been appointed as the Associate Dean for Extension while continuing in his role as Head of the Department of Extension. Upon the retirement of Ian Hart as Associate Dean for Research, Cameron Faustman has assumed responsibility for the Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station and research in addition to academic programs and will now serve as the Associate Dean for Research and Academic Programs.
This fall we will begin operating under our new College by-laws. Our previous Faculty Advisory Council will now become an elected Faculty Council. The chair of the Council will now become the chair of the College Faculty for the academic year and will become a member of my Executive Council. The Faculty Council will be responsible for management of our various faculty committees and serve as a representative voice for the faculty as a whole on a range of issues.
Likewise, our College PTR process has been changed to reduce the number of documents reviewed by the College committee and my office on an annual basis.
During our College retreat prior to the beginning of the fall semester, we reviewed our progress on our strategic plan and discussed goals for the academic year. Our goals for this year include full implementation of our strategic plan, addressing our organizational model for Cooperative Extension, improving our communication and marketing, completing our review of faculty workloads and appointments, addressing faculty mentoring, and completing our planning for the Young Building renovation.
The Young Building renovation will give our College home a much-needed facelift, but the closure of the building for a one-year period will create some short-term challenges in housing our faculty and staff elsewhere during the renovation.
Gregory J. Weidemann
Dean and Director