The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.
Issue link: http://louisville.epubxp.com/i/189594
2 1 S T C E N T U R Y U N I V E R S I T Y Looking ahead: a university for the 21st century UofL is on a roll with record-setting enrollments, improving national rankings and students who are earning national and international scholarships. But President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz continue to drive the university toward more and higher achievements. With an eye toward the changing educational landscape, they have launched an ambitious effort to meet the needs for the students of the future. Ramsey announced the 21st Century University Initiative last fall. "We know that the university of the future is not necessarily going to look like the university of today," Ramsey said. "So we need to take a look at ourselves and determine how best we can educate the students of the future." Headed by Willihnganz, the program began in earnest last winter, when more than 800 students, faculty, staff and friends completed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis online and participated in open forums. More than 300 people then volunteered to serve on committees and support teams throughout the spring to explore solutions to and make recommendations on key is- sues such as improving campus climate; determining the proper role of technology in educational delivery; improving fnancial systems; and setting academic and research priorities. They reported their fndings and made recommendations, which Willihnganz shared with the Board of Trustees and the campus community in July. With the board's endorsement, the initiative has moved to the next step — more dialogue, including open campus forums and discussion with student leaders. Those discussions will lead to development of more specifc plans by late fall and then to implementation beginning in spring 2014. "It feels like this is an unprecedented time for higher education," Willihnganz said. "The landscape is changing at a rapid pace, and no one quite knows where these changes will lead. That's why it's imperative that the university should look at these issues and prepare for them now." "Universities that aren't looking to the future are going to be left behind." More information on the 21st Century University Initiative, including the full committee reports and a schedule of activities, is online at louisville.edu/21stcentury. KEYS TO SUCCESS Four key themes emerged from the committee reports, including: • Enhancing and enriching scholarship, teaching and research that includes new and innovative collaborative and multidisciplinary concentrations, aligning investments and resources to foster our institutional strengths • Positioning the university to be globally engaged, accessible and studentcentered in order to be a leading institution in the 21st century • Using shared values to foster a culture of excellence, supported by high levels of accountability and strong institutional leadership • Maintaining responsible and effective ﬁnancial stewardship across the enterprise, continuing to protect investments made by the commonwealth, our students and their families, donors and our many partners FA L L UO F L M A G A Z I N E | 7