CLAS Strategic Plan, 2006-10

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Goal I

Provide students a rich and challenging experience in General Education and in the undergraduate major.

Strategy 1: Maintain a high-quality learning experience for undergraduates.
  • Continuously explore, implement, and assess new ways of teaching and learning.
  • Increase student awareness of Study Abroad, service learning, and Honors opportunities.
  • Enrich students’ opportunities to develop skills as writers.
  • Achieve a balance of course sizes appropriate to the discipline and the level of the course.
  • Establish an Instructional Technology Student Fee to provide students with technological resources appropriate to a high quality education.
  • Work with the UI Foundation to increase scholarship aid.
Strategy 2: Improve the academic experience for first-year students.
  • Enlarge the First-year Seminar Program.
  • Ensure course availability for first-year students in entry-level General Education courses.
  • Implement an enriched summer-session program for entering first-year students, working with the Provost’s Office, Residence Services, and the Office of Admissions.
Strategy 3: Continue to integrate our research and teaching missions.
  • Increase student access to faculty-taught courses.
  • Promote Honors pro-seminars, capstone courses in majors, and senior theses.
  • Increase opportunities for undergraduates to partner with faculty in research through cooperation with the Center for Undergraduate Research and its associated programs.
  • Increase extramurally funded support for undergraduate research.
Strategy 4: Set an agenda for the CLAS Admissions Committee to clarify expectations for first-year students and transfer students.
  • Work with the Provost's Office on creative approaches to admissions that raise standards and incoming student skills.
  • Review and update the high school course requirements for admission to the University.
  • Work with the Provost’s Office to review and update matriculation agreements with community colleges.


Promote excellence in education by increasing the diversity of the faculty, staff, and students.

Strategy 1: Implement the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on African American Studies (2005).
  • Strengthen the African American studies curriculum.
  • Create a cluster of new faculty appointments in disciplinary departments that will support the teaching of courses in African American studies, race, and diversity.
  • Establish a new unit in African American studies.
  • Create a center for the in-depth study of a topic in African American studies.
Strategy 2: Expand opportunities for faculty and staff to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to work and live in a diverse, multi-cultural society.
  • Create mechanisms for coordination, cooperation, and mutual learning across departments regarding diversity in recruitment, retention, and professional development.
  • Publicize and encourage faculty and staff participation in promoting excellence through diversity.
Strategy 3: Expand opportunities for students to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to work and live in a diverse, multi-cultural society.
  • Fully implement the cultural diversity area of the General Education Program.
  • Provide undergraduate concentrations in ethnic studies and in multi-cultural awareness.
  • Create a center that will stimulate research relevant to multi-cultural awareness and promote undergraduate and graduate student participation in these endeavors.
  • Develop tutorials and mentoring programs for minority undergraduates, with the help of faculty and graduate students.
Strategy 4: Continue to focus on recruitment and retention of excellent and diverse student, staff, and faculty populations.
  • Strengthen ties between CLAS departments and the Office of the Associate Provost for Diversity, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Student Services.
  • Continue to partner with the Graduate College in recruiting, retaining, and graduating a diverse graduate student body.
  • Increase the representation of women and members of underrepresented ethnic minorities in all disciplines and at all ranks in both faculty and staff positions.
  • Promote diversity-oriented approaches in staff searches at all levels, including representation of minorities on search committees.


Advance the research and scholarly enterprise and cultivate excellent graduate and professional programs.

Strategy 1: Increase funding for scholarly/creative activity.
  • Stimulate and improve faculty proposals for external funding.
  • Increase the travel assistance available to faculty presenting papers at conferences and national/international meetings.
  • Secure recurring support from the Office of the Provost for new faculty start-up and renovation funds.
  • Secure recurring funding from the Provost and the Vice President for Research in support of faculty awarded prestigious research fellowships.
Strategy 2: Increase the visibility of excellent departments and programs.
  • Reallocate marginal resources to selectively enhance support for excellent graduate programs.
  • Increase the number of CLAS faculty fellows, named professorships, and named chairs.
  • Increase funds for bringing national and international conferences and symposia to campus.
  • Fully endow the College’s Excellence and Innovation Funds.
Strategy 3: Work with departments to improve graduate student support and the quality of graduate education, while shortening time to degree.
  • Increase the number of research assistantships and fellowships supported by external funding and private fundraising.
  • Focus graduate programs on areas of departmental strength.
  • Ensure that the sizes of graduate programs reflect the number of faculty available for mentoring.


Strengthen the College's intellectual and community vitality.

Strategy 1: Attract and retain a high quality faculty and staff.
  • Promote and sustain a vibrant intellectual and artistic milieu on campus.
  • Bring average faculty salaries to midpoint of CIC.
  • Maintain parity with peer institutions in staff salaries.
  • Increase recognition of academic and professional excellence.
  • Maintain a supportive work-life environment and family-friendly policies.
  • Improve faculty and staff mentoring.
Strategy 2: Support and celebrate interdisciplinary research and teaching.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty in teaching and research.
  • Foster faculty proposals for interdisciplinary centers that will create synergies among faculty.
Strategy 3: Advocate for the Tri-Campus Space Plan to create a coherent presence for CLAS.
  • Move towards rapid replacement of Seashore Hall.
  • Accelerate planning and funding to unify the Performing Arts campus.
  • Accelerate planning and funding for an Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences building.
  • Emphasize the use of the Pentacrest for CLAS academic purposes.
Strategy 4: Improve the College’s infrastructure, facilities, and equipment.
  • Secure recurring funding for renewal of instructional equipment.
  • Press Central Administration to prioritize and rectify the College’s substantial deferred maintenance.
  • Secure recurring funding for faculty and staff computer equipment and support services.
  • Work with the Vice President for Research to develop adequate recurring funding for maintaining and renewing critical equipment and facilities for research and creative work.


Reaffirm the College's service mission and partnerships with the public.

Strategy 1: Make our engagement with the public more visible.
  • Establish better channels for learning about and publicizing departments’ interactions with the people of Iowa and the region.
  • Increase the occasions for recognizing excellence in outreach and public engagement.
  • Celebrate the role of the fine and performing arts departments in enriching the cultural environment for the regional community.
  • Stimulate public involvement in conferences, lectures, and seminars.
Strategy 2: Build a sense of community and life-long relationship with CLAS alumni.
  • Continue to involve the Dean’s Advisory Board on planning issues.
  • Increase the visibility of the Alumni Fellows Program.
  • Encourage all departments to communicate regularly with alumni.
  • Collaborate with the UI Alumni Association to increase faculty participation in nationwide alumni lecture series.
  • Meet on a regular basis with editorial boards of local newspapers.
Strategy 3: Publicize the contributions of faculty, staff, and students to the well-being of Iowa through the development of patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property, the teaching of entrepreneurial skills, and the development of a well-educated citizenry.
  • Recognize faculty, staff, and students who contribute to technology transfer through inventions and patents.
  • Recognize faculty, staff, and students who enrich the cultural life of Iowa and the nation.
  • Recognize faculty, staff, and students who enrich the professional communities served by their disciplines.
Strategy 4: Maximize the value of our academic programs for Iowa’s citizenry.
  • Continue to improve our collaboration with the Career Center and departments in cooperative education, internships, and service learning.
  • Continue our collaboration with the Division of Continuing Education in delivering degree programs and courses to Iowans through on-campus and distance education.