In fall 2020, President Bodnar charged UM's deans with helping to shape options for the academic future of the University of Montana. As part of this, he asked that such options are responsive to the following:
Adapt our curricular and academic approach to more intentionally and explicitly build in our students’ foundational competencies such as problem-solving, critical thinking, information and data literacy, teamwork, leadership, creativity, and innovation.
With a focus on creating an optimal student experience at UM, and ensuring the relevance and sustainability of our academic portfolio, the Office of the Provost is facilitating an academic planning exercise to meet the needs of UM’s current and future students while operating within projected budget estimates for FY23, which begins July 2022.
Our work is informed by academic unit data, market research by Art & Science, EAB, and Ruffalo Noel Levitz, nation-wide labor projections, as well as the work of the University Design Team and concepts put forth in A Connected Curriculum for Higher Education, by Professor Dilly Fung of the London School of Economics.
Process and Timeline
We know that processes work best when administration and faculty responsibilities are clearly delineated, when opportunities for input are included in our processes, and when there is meaningful participation and engagement by the faculty in the agreed-upon process. CBAs sections 7.100 offer guidance on roles and responsibilities of the faculty unions and the Faculty Senate. We will include Faculty Senate in the academic planning process as follows:
- By mid-February: deans translate academic unit data into impact drafts for collaborative conversations that inform the development of broader campus drafts;
- By mid-March: deans and executive leaders collaborate on a single draft for Academic Affairs;
- Between mid-March and mid-April: Academic Planning Group reviews draft and solicits input, inviting a wide range of perspectives;
- By mid-April, the Academic Planning Group provides input on the document to the Provost
- Beginning May, Provost delivers plan to President Bodnar
- May, President Bodnar works with appropriate stakeholders to finalize the plan and shares it with the campus community;
- Summer and fall 2021: Details of plan are worked out; upon President Bodnar’s approval, deans and the Provost prepare to implement curricular and personnel changes;
- By July 2022: Academic Affairs meets projected budget targets.