FAS Launches Three-Year Strategic Planning Initiative for Academics, Technology, and Budgeting at Harvard | News
Earlier this month, the Faculty of Arts and Science launched a three-year strategic planning initiative to identify resources needed for “long-term excellence” in higher education, support and development of faculty and academic divisions.
The strategic planning process builds on numerous planning efforts across FAS and will include four academic steering committees and two administrative initiatives on budgeting and technology use, according to a FAS webpage launched in early April.
The plan extends from the work of the FAS Study Group – a group of faculty convened by FAS Dean Claudine Gay in November 2020 to examine the school’s “financial viability, organizational flexibility and institutional resilience”, according to a November 2021 statement from Gay.
The initiative also relies on group conversations organized by FAS for teachers to discuss the future of the school. The resulting vision statement for the strategic planning process calls for a “strong, intellectually dynamic and creative SAF”.
Four steering committees will direct academic strategic planning efforts – one for each of the Arts and Humanities and Social Studies divisions, one for faculty support and development, and one for higher education and admissions. The committees are composed mainly of professors, as well as several staff members and students.
The Division of Science will hold similar planning conversations within existing faculty structures, including its department chairs and division committees.
In an interview with The Crimson earlier this month, Gay said the committees are in the early stages of their work.
“These committees are assembled, they have been charged and already, honestly, working hard, mainly doing information gathering and taking the pulse of the community on the various issues,” she said.
In addition to academics, FAS is launching two initiatives related to budgeting and technology support.
Scott A. Jordan, the FAS Dean for Administration and Finance, will lead five different task forces dedicated to “reinventing budgeting.” According to the FAS webpage, the groups will address five thematic areas — workforce planning, space and capital planning, multi-year planning, annual budgeting, and reporting and accountability measures — and draft recommendations to implement in fiscal year 2024. budget process.
The working groups will begin their work in the coming weeks and will continue their work during the summer and fall.
FAS chief information officer Klara Jelinkova, who is also the university’s vice president and chief information officer, will lead a study of the technology landscape that will be overseen by a FAS steering committee. The study will assess and make recommendations on the use of technology in the FAS.
Gay said in an interview that she encouraged faculty to learn more about the committees and to think about “what it means to build a school that truly empowers us as teachers and scholars.”
Kristie T. La ’13, Ph.D. The art and architectural history candidate who is the graduate student representative on the arts and humanities steering committee said the committee was still “at the beginning of the process” of its work.
“How can we organize the arts and humanities so that they can respond to the present and be flexible enough for the future?” she says. “A lot of these departments were created a very long time ago, with a really different student body, a very different history, a very different university overall, and obviously a completely different world.”
For the Graduate Admissions and Education Task Force, goals include recommending changes that respond to changes in the academic labor market and stipend funding sources, by Ann Hall, spokesperson for the ‘Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS will use the information collected to make adjustments in graduate admissions.
—Writer Ariel H. Kim can be reached at [email protected]