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Academic Plan Update

Office of the ProvostFeb 8, 2016

In support of Goal 1 of the Academic Plan ("Pacific will enhance its portfolio of academic programs to meet new and emerging societal needs"), faculty and deans are crossing boundaries to build Pacific as a three-city University in four strategic areas:

Premier Educator for Water/Environmental Stewardship of the Region
In June 2015, the Provost charged Deans Mootz, Fraden and Howell with organizing a Water-Environment Task Force. Work began with a faculty inventory to identify areas of expertise and ongoing research. The deans and lead faculty members organized three sub-committees to gather information and provide reports of their findings to the Deans. The information in these reports was used to inform the central elements of a draft report to the Provost in December 2015, which proposes the potential creation of an interdisciplinary institute in this area. The Task Force will develop a business plan and structure for the proposed institute, engage key stakeholders in an advisory capacity, finalize planning and pursue funding sources.   

Educational Leader in Rapidly Evolving Healthcare Environment
Due to the successful approach used for the water/environmental strategy, the health initiative steering committee adopted this model as well. The leadership group overseeing this effort includes Deans Fraden, Nadershahi, and Mootz, and Associate Professor Bob Hanyak. The work of this team also began with a faculty inventory of health-related research, teaching and service. The lead faculty members began working in two sub-committees: Current Health-Related Interdisciplinary Opportunities and Future of Health. The sub-committees gathered data and prepared reports summarizing their findings and recommendations. The Steering Committee used this information at a January 2016 Health Initiative Mini-Retreat to guide discussions about Pacific's existing strengths, future health-related trends, notable gaps, and directions for Pacific's future leadership in health. This month the Steering Committee will begin a series of conversations with faculty across the three campuses, tapping cross-campus expertise to hone the health initiative.    

Champion of the Liberal Arts
In August 2015, the College of the Pacific held a planning retreat attended by more than 75 faculty members to renew the collective agreement about what constitutes the core of Pacific's liberal arts education. A new mission statement was crafted that emphasizes experiential learning, student and faculty collaborative research and community engagement as guiding principles for liberal arts education in the College. The Jacoby Center Review Committee prepared a report for the Provost with recommendations that indicate the importance of refocusing the Jacoby Center's mission to support students' participation in experiential learning opportunities. Their report provides details about how experiential learning engages students in applied learning to deepen disciplinary and general education, engages interdisciplinary thinking to solve real-world problems and ensures students are career-ready. The College also prepared nine SEED Fund proposals for the Strategic Planning Committee that would create and support interdisciplinary programs within the College and between the College and other Pacific schools.  

Diversify and Expand the Sacramento Campus
Pacific has continued to make remarkable progress on diversifying and expanding the Sacramento campus. As of fall 2015, Pacific's graduate program offerings on the Sacramento campus have expanded beyond the JD, LLM and MSL degrees to include programs in business and education, with the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) and Masters in Public Administration (MPA) programs accepting applications for fall 2016. The Master in Sciences Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program is preparing for accreditation with enrollments anticipated for spring 2017.  

Look for regular, ongoing updates on the work being done within the Academic Division to support and implement the goals of the Academic Plan. 

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