This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Planning process detailed

Comment on draft plan to be sought from UB community

Published: September 23, 2004

Assistant Vice President

The university is engaged aggressively in a comprehensive planning process that will assess UB's institutional and academic strengths and lead to development of an academic plan and campus master strategy focusing on the achievement of academic excellence.

President John B. Simpson plans by the end of December to have a draft academic plan articulating UB's strategic academic strengths available for review and broad-based comment from the university community.

The latest step in the process, which began earlier this year, was the charging by Simpson on Friday of a new 12-member academic planning committee and a new 12-member academic support planning committee. The former will focus on creation of a proposed academic plan and the latter will identify the processes, systems and funding that most efficiently and effectively will support the academic plan.

Simpson and Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, are overseeing the planning effort, working closely with an eight-member executive committee that will develop recommendations and fiscal strategies to support planning and related initiatives.

In addition to Simpson and Tripathi, the executive committee members are James A. (Beau) Willis, chief of staff in the Office of the President; Peter Nickerson, chair of the Faculty Senate and director of the Pathology Graduate Program in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Tamara Thornton, professor and chair of the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences; Richard Buchanan, dean of the School of Dental Medicine; Uday Sukhatme, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dennis Black, vice president for student affairs.

The planning process began earlier this year when Simpson requested that vice presidents, deans and vice provosts analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in their respective areas. In addition, deans were asked to identify academic strengths within their schools and vice presidents were engaged in examining UB's institutional goals.

Those outcomes were reviewed when Simpson and Tripathi met with a group of deans, faculty members and administrators on July 14 in a day-long institutional planning retreat focused on pinpointing academic strengths across the university and across the disciplines.

The ongoing effort with the two new committees in place will focus on refining and developing the university's strategic strengths. A set of goals and objectives will be developed for each strength, along with a timeline for achieving them.

The planning process also will focus on identifying organizational support, funding and actions required at the decanal and school level to support development of each area. The academic support planning committee will assess operations, processes and systems that are in place to support the university's academic programs and identify gaps, inefficiencies and redundancies/duplication.

The academic planning committee is being chaired by Tripathi. The other members are Diane Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences; Huw Davies, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; Robert Genco, SUNY Distinguished Professor and interim vice president for research; Robert Granfield, associate professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences; Mark Karwan, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Josephine Capuana, administrative director of the University Honors Program; Jennifer McDonough, vice president for university advancement; Nils Olsen, dean of the Law School; Margaret Paroski, interim vice president for health affairs and interim dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Kee Chung, M&T Chair in Banking and Finance in the Department of Finance and Managerial Economics in the School of Management, and Kenneth Blumenthal, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Willis is chairing the academic support planning committee. Other committee members are Kathryn Foster, chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the School of Architecture and Planning; Voldemar Innus, vice president and chief information officer; Bruce McCombe, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences; Barbara Ricotta, associate vice president for student affairs; Janet Penksa, associate vice president for governmental affairs; Kevin Seitz, vice president for university services; Sean Sullivan, associate vice president for academic planning and budget; John Thomas, dean of the School of Management; Joseph Zambon, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of periodontics and endodontics in the School of Dental Medicine; Suzanne Laychock, senior associate dean for research and biomedical education and professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and E. Bruce Pitman, associate dean for research and sponsored programs, and professor of mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Also launched earlier this year and ongoing are three task forces involved in strategic planning.

The Government, University and Industry Task Force is charged with creating a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated plan for maximizing UB's relationships with state, federal and international governments, as well as private and public industry.

The Community Engagement Task Force is focusing on creation of a comprehensive and integrated plan that will allow the university to improve relations with the community. As part of its work, some two dozen community leaders have been interviewed on their perspectives on UB's existing relations with the community.

The third task force, the Bioinformatics Business Planning Task Force, was created following expansion and restructuring in April of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.