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Crossing Boundaries for Academic Excellence

Academic Planning Process

Why an Academic Plan?
At Pacific our academic priorities are guiding our implementation of Pacific 2020. Our energies and resources are finite. The plan coordinates collective efforts to enhance the relevance, excellence and value of a Pacific education. At a time when higher education is rapidly changing, as are our students' opportunities upon graduation, it is imperative to be strategic about developing academic programs and services that will prepare our students for future success.

We must also be strategic about diversifying our overall portfolio of academic programs to ensure not only Pacific's appeal and value, but ultimately our long-term financial sustainability. To this end, we will enhance graduate and undergraduate programs with high external demand, increase the marketability of existing programs, and continue to invest in quality programs with evidence of successful outcomes for our students. Crossing Boundaries for Academic Excellence will serve as our guide for strategically allocating resources to serve collective academic goals. The plan will inform development of a five year strategic enrollment plan and financial plan for the University.

Our Approach
The Provost's Office partnered with faculty, staff and students to create an academic plan for the next five years as we continue to implement Pacific 2020. By building on the good work already done over the last several years, this plan enhances the excellence of a Pacific education. Through strategic focus and investments, we will pursue a vision that builds on Pacific's strengths and prepares our students for a lifetime of achievement. In a rapidly changing complex world, solutions to the most pressing challenges require us to cross disciplinary, professional, cultural and national boundaries. Deep disciplinary knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to address complex problems such as environmental issues, shifts in health care, and challenges to living responsibly in an intercultural and globally connected world.

The planning process was built on the collaborative momentum begun out of the Academic Planning and Alignment process. Faculty in different parts of the university launched exciting conversations to collaborate across disciplines to redesign programs, build cross-disciplinary programs, provide internship opportunities for students, and create joint scholarship projects. The overarching theme of Crossing Boundaries for Academic Excellence was inspired by this collaborative momentum.

Under the leadership of the Provost and the Deans, the academic plan was developed iteratively in fall 2014 and spring 2015. Embodying the spirit of crossing boundaries, faculty, staff and students participated in its development and refinement through a series of cross-university and school/college-based conversations, first on the overarching theme, then on the proposed major goals, followed by a draft of the plan and, finally, the Academic Plan. During each phase, multiple opportunities were provided for face-to-face and online input from faculty, staff and students, including independent conversations with students and a separate effort led by the Academic Council to gather feedback from faculty to revise Goal 3 of the draft plan. All input from each round of the process was coded and synthesized into subsequent iterations of the plan.