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Academic Task Forces and Initiatives

It is our goal to continually improve the quality of the education received at the University of Utah. With that intent the Academic Affairs office has spearheaded several critical task forces and initiatives.


The support of a remarkable cadre of alumni, friends, and donors has enabled unprecedented success of the University of Utah in its recent fundraising campaign, Together We Reach. As we look to the future, we recognize that the future strength of the university relies on continued effectiveness in our development efforts. A working group, chaired by Professor Michael Hardman, Director of the Office of Global Engagement and former Dean and Interim Senior Vice President, has been tasked with examining our fundraising practices and recommending actions to optimize our efforts in the future.To read the memorandum that was sent to the working group, click on the link below:
Letter to Fundraising Working Group [Word Document]
Transformative Excellence Program
The Transformative Excellence Program (TEP) aims to allow the University to build faculty strength in strategic interdisciplinary areas through cluster hiring. The goal is to identify areas within the University in which a small number of strategic additions to our faculty in different academic units will enhance our preeminence. Areas of emphasis that have societal relevance within Utah and across the nation will be prioritized.Read More
Comprehensive Task Force on Enhancing Graduation Rate
One of the most vital areas of focus for the campus is the retention and graduation rates of our baccalaureate degree-seeking students. In recent years, many effective efforts have been made to bring talented students to the U and to promote the success of our students through degree completion. It is the intent of this working group to develop a comprehensive, data-driven plan to help us make even greater progress in this critical area. To read the memorandum that was sent to the working group, click on the link below:
Letter to the Retention & Completion Task Force [Word Document]
Budget Principles and Processes
Across campus, there is interest in better understanding our budget process and considering approaches that can create opportunities to strengthen units. A working group, under the leadership of Distinguished Professor Henry White, has outlined a set of principles to guide our budget model. This year, we will pilot a process using a small committee for college annual budget meetings. Work is continuing on the budget modeling effort. Read the memorandum that was sent to the Budget Principles and Process Working Group. [Word Document]

Read the letter that was sent to the Campus Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC). [PDF]

Read the Budget Principles developed by the Campus Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC). [PDF]

Presidential Scholar Program
The goal of the Presidential Scholar award is to recognize exceptional achievement in mid-career faculty members, generally between the time of the initial promotion to associate professor through the promotion to professor, with the aim of enhancing retention, supporting creative efforts, and ensuring that scholars remain at the U through the most productive time of their careers. The 2015 recipients are Kirsten Butcher, Eric Garland, Ryan Looper, and Rebecca Utz.
Transfer Task Force Recommendations 2015
After assessing the existing transfer process at the University of Utah, the Transfer Process Working Group, constituted by Senior Vice President Ruth Watkins, makes four types of recommendations: (1) Articulation Tables/Technology/Staff Resources; (2) Further Development of a Transfer Center; (3) Scholarship/Development Funds for Transfer Students; and (4) Community/TIG Experiences. The Working Group broke up into three different subcommittees: (1) the transfer student timeline subcommittee, (2) the best practices subcommittee, and (3) the data/research subcommittee. Each subcommittee contributed significantly to this report. In addition to the recommendations of the Working Group, another outcome of the group is a timeline that can be used in communicating information to transfer students in a clear, accessible way. Pages 2-13 comprise the main report and recommendations. Pages 14-29 comprise additional recommendations that could be carried out by an appointed person in the Transfer Center or elsewhere on campus. Recommendations Report [PDF]
Undergraduate Learning Assessment
As you may know, we recently completed our year seven accreditation report and campus visit through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. We received recognition for the learning outcomes we strive to achieve with our students and the many processes we have implemented and are expanding that evaluate student learning, particularly in general education courses and in majors/program of study. We have made significant progress to date in these areas and continue to amplify, refine, and extent our efforts. To complement and complete this assessment agenda, we have been asked to design and implement an overarching assessment of learning outcomes applicable to every U baccalaureate degree earner. To read the memorandum that was sent to the working group, click on the link below:
Undergraduate Learning Assessment Group [PDF]
Diversity Learning Initiative
Student Diversity Council Invite 2016
Integrated Student Team Charge 2016