As campus leaders who are "in the trenches," the academic department chairs and directors are an important constituency whose wisdom and expertise were not effectively utilized. One of the first things I heard when I came on board as your Provost was the need for better communication and greater input on decision making for strategic issues facing our campus.
To that end, I have been convening department chairs and directors quarterly for the past three years. Our meetings are interactive sessions where representatives from all units can address issues with their counterparts. This environment encourages a free exchange of ideas that fosters a better understanding of differing perspectives. Many of their recommendations have influenced decisions and have been instrumental in moving forward initiatives such as Course Redesign and Innovation, Online Learning, Mentoring, Research incentives, Gen Ed and Calendar Conversion, to name just a few. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks and to publicly applaud their work.
On another note, the Winter eZine comes with a 'goodbye'. As many of you know, Maryann Hinz has been the founding coordinator for the eZine quarterly magazine and, after 15 years at RIT, she is taking the plunge to retirement. While I will miss her creative talents and her sense of humor, I wish her well in this new phase of life!