I recently read the draft of the academic plan that will guide the decision-making at UCSC for quite a few years. It is called UCSC Strategic Academic Plan and emanates from UCSC central administration. It deals with hard numbers: how many students will be admitted in the near future on this campus (about 20K), the proportion of graduate students (15%), the number of FTEs (hard positions) to be assigned to divisions and departments. This kind of big thinking needs to be based on some rational basis and it is. [more]
But before I continue with this topic, I need to pull it out and explain it in some detail. The plan is divided into five parts: a set of basic principles, an outline of development at UCSC, a re-arrangement into six categories of the teaching and research presently done across campus, an application of this scheme to the present divisional and departmental arrangement, and finally the management implications of such a change.
It is based on five principles:
1) that UCSC is a single unit (translation: it has become atomized and needs to be re-centralized).
2) the campus needs to invest differentially (read: we don't continue business as usual).
3) evolution rather than iteration (same as 2 above).
4) "Fourth, we should target development of departments and programs to areas where we will have the greatest impact."
My understanding of 1-3 and 5: ok, this campus at the beginning of its life was centralized (founders were in charge of everything after all), and became a galaxy of programs that often duplicate each other.
But principle 4 raises questions: how does one determine "greatest impact"?
Here are the six new interdisciplinary areas that the authors of this plan see represented at UCSC:
1) Advanced Technology and Society
2) Communication and Visual Media
3) Environment and Planetary Health
4) Human Health Studies
5) Identity and Heritage Studies
6) Transnationalism and Globalization
Where are the humanities in all of this? Or rather: where is humanity? Now this is a question that, it seems to me, has been dropped from the collection of programs called the division of humanities. I'd like to get back to that as soon as I have slept a bit, done my corrections, and written other things that are "en souffrance."|CATEGORIES|2|TB_PING||IP-ADDRESS|188.8.131.52|DATE|1160255327