Progress on Transforming Undergraduate Education
September 7, 2006
Members of the New Brunswick/Piscataway Community:
Implementation of the university’s bold plan to transform undergraduate education in New Brunswick/Piscataway is well under way. The new structure, which is being phased in over the next year, will empower all liberal arts undergraduates to take full advantage of the campus’s comprehensive educational resources regardless of their school, major, or where they live.
Since the Board of Governors voted March 10 to approve
the plan, the Implementation Steering Committee and
its 15 subcommittees have been addressing such topics
as admissions, academic standards, educational opportunities,
faculty engagement, housing and residence life, and
facilities. In addition, the Office of Student Affairs
held a retreat in May, student government leaders met
in August, and numerous other groups are exploring
ways to make the vision for an enhanced and exciting
undergraduate experience a reality.
As the 2006–2007 academic year begins, several improvements are already evident:
- To recruit the entering class of 2007, the Office
of University Undergraduate Admissions has revamped its web site and online application
and is revising recruitment publications to reflect
changes in the way undergraduate education in New
Brunswick/Piscataway is organized.
- The School
of Arts and Sciences launched its web site with useful information for
faculty, staff, and students. In preparation for
fall 2007, the school has approved interim general
education requirements and a unified honors program.
- Cook College is transitioning to its new identity as the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, including a revamped web site.
- The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs has begun to consolidate services. Effective September 15, residence life programs will be combined into a single unit reporting to student affairs; counseling and psychological services were consolidated as of August 10. An executive director of residence life and an acting director of counseling and psychological services have been appointed. A search for a permanent director of counseling and psychological services will start this month, and a search for an executive director of recreation is under way.
- The Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate
Education is now responsible for overseeing the current
college deans, undergraduate research, the campuswide
honors program, disability services, and other cross-cutting
areas. Career Services, the Rutgers Learning Centers,
EOF, and TRIO—a federally funded program for low-income
students and those with disabilities—now report
to this office.
- The Rutgers University Foundation is exploring changes to scholarships originally designated for specific liberal arts colleges so they continue to reflect the wishes of donors as closely as possible.
As work moves forward, information will be posted on the Transforming Undergraduate Education web site. Regular updates in Rutgers Focus, on RU-tv, and through periodic emails also will help keep you informed.
We are excited by this progress in implementing a new model for undergraduate education in which talented students, mentored by renowned faculty, fully participate in the dynamic education, research, and service programs that distinguish a great research university. We look forward to working with you to transform our undergraduates’ experiences inside and outside the classroom on Rutgers’ New Brunswick/Piscataway campus.
Director of Implementation
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Undergraduate Education
Vice Chair, Steering Committee on Implementation