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  • Foster Scholarship, Discovery & Innovation

Comments Mar 14, 2018 3:25 pm

I think we would be reticent not to recall the wonderful 2006 Illinois
Strategic Plan, unveiled by Chancellor Herman and loaded with laudable
long-term goals. At the cornerstone were plans to decrease class
sizes, decrease enrollments, increase graduate stipends, increase
faculty sizes and increase salaries, all designed to enhance
academic quality and competitiveness. With the spectacular success
we have enjoyed on all of these fronts in the ensuing dozen years,
thanks to a stable economy and reliable funding from Springfield,
I look forward to an equally impactful Strategic Plan during the
current cycle.

Reply to at 3:25 pm Feb 23, 2018 11:18 am

To foster scholarship, discovery, and innovation, I think it's essential to support faculty through continuing to build, professionalize/educate, and enable an academic professional staff that specializes in sponsored research development, administration, and management. This academic professional staff will benefit from cross-coordination through the OVCR, particularly through the offices of Sponsored Program Administration and Proposal Development as well as from the ongoing development and refinement of sponsored program management and reporting tools.

Reply to at 11:18 am Feb 20, 2018 3:00 pm

I write to provide a counterpoint (in the musical sense) to the strategic planning process.   

It is beyond question that the strategic planning process is important and needed to orient the university toward important new social problems and to inform resource allocation in an era of budgetary change.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that the one thing universities do best is curiosity-driven research.   Unplanned research.   We *are* the ivory tower.   We are the only place in society where curiosity-driven research is possible.   Our faculty have the freedom to work on ideas that will lay the foundations of scientific, engineering, and social developments that will change the world a half-century or a century from now.   Some - or most - of the seeds sown by faculty research will never flower.   Yet some will flower, spectacularly.   We need to have the courage to take risks and let talented, tested people run off in unplanned directions.   

So my main message is: put support of curiosity-driven research at the center of the strategic plan.   

Reply to at 3:00 pm