Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger’s plan for the future of BU began to take shape last week, as he announced the Road Map to Success proposals his committee selected for development and implementation.
The Steering Committee chose 49 of the 176 total proposals brought before them in late December.
“Selecting these 49 proposals was a difficult process, but I think those selected are exciting and will help us reach the goal President Stenger has laid out for the campus: becoming the premier public university of the 21st century,” wrote Donald Nieman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, in an email to Pipe Dream.
Over the coming weeks, each BU vice president will be responsible for a group of the proposals, and will determine the resources needed to pursue the proposal and develop milestones to guide their implementation, according to the Road Map website.
“We will now assess cost and feasibility of implementing all 49,” Nieman said. “Some will move forward more quickly than others based on that assessment. So it may take some time to get to all. And some may [not] be feasible to fully implement.”
The proposals range from experimenting with traditional course scheduling to establishing “Bearcat Dens” to sell Bearcat merchandise and increase BU marketability in the greater Binghamton area.
Many of the adopted proposals are focused on increasing BU’s reputation as an elite research university both nationally and internationally. The proposal to add a pharmacy school was also selected by the Steering Committee.
Among the proposals Nieman said he was most excited about were the expansion of the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) and requiring undergraduate students to participate at least once in a “high impact learning experience” such as study abroad, research or an internship.
“I … like High Impact Learning Experiences because it will enhance our investment in undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, service learning and civic engagement,” Nieman said. “We know that these help students develop skills, broaden perspectives, and prepare for advanced education and careers.”
The enhancements to the CLT will include a full-time director to help professors develop their curriculum and integrate technology into the classroom. The director will also observe classroom instructions to advise and instruct faculty.
“I like the idea of enhancing our Center for Learning and Teaching because it is an investment in our faculty and students,” Nieman said. “It will give Binghamton’s outstanding faculty the support they need to experiment with instructional approaches that will maximize student learning.”