February 21, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Tuesday afternoon about our goals for the Clark Honors College and for the experience we want the students to have who call it their academic home.
The teaching and research you do every day have established the CHC as a premier honors college. I want to thank you for that important work, your dedication to students, and your participation in the effort to shape the future of the honors college for years to come.
As you know, for many months we have been discussing how best to serve our students. There have been lively conversations, feedback opportunities, data analyses, and thoughtful deliberations as we look to create an environment where our shared values can be of the greatest benefit to the student experience.
As was announced last week, President Schill intends to recommend to the Board of Trustees a significant reduction in the CHC’s differential tuition. If approved, this reduction will make us more competitive with our peers from a pricing standpoint. It is now time for us to become more nimble and able to offer a greater diversity of options to our current and prospective students. This will make us even more competitive in the overall academic experience.
As discussed, we will begin the work that will allow us to serve students optimally by responding to the shifting student base, diversifying the faculty, revising the curriculum, and establishing ways to encourage the UO’s most accomplished teachers outside of the CHC to share their talents with CHC students, and UO’s accomplished scholar-teachers inside of the CHC to share their talents with the wider UO.
While we know that change can create apprehension, we want to reiterate to you that our commitment to the very best qualities of the honors college will not change. We will continue to offer continuity of advising, rigorous and small classes, high academic standards, a close-knit academic community, and a dedication to student success.
To provide the best possible education for our students, we are eager to create an environment where the broader UO community can more readily embrace the CHC and its mission. And, like any unit on campus, we must be forward-thinking while also managing resources in an efficient, sustainable, and scalable manner.
In terms of next steps, we will:
- Provide for the voluntary relocation of our tenure-track faculty to a disciplinary unit, effective July 1, 2018;
- Recruit faculty from across UO to teach in the honors college to balance disciplinary representation, diversify faculty, and give accomplished UO instructors an opportunity to teach our high-achieving students;
- Have faculty tenured in the honors college teach at least a course every other year in their home discipline(s), where they will have the opportunity to teach and advise graduate students;
- Through the Institutional Hiring Plan, collaborate with the deans of the other schools and colleges to propose faculty positions that benefit both the CHC and the other schools and colleges;
- Assemble the CHC Appointments Advisory Council with membership from the CHC and the UO to advise the dean on faculty appointments to the honors college; and
- Evaluate all faculty assigned to the CHC with respect to their appointments in the CHC.
We recognize there are many questions, and there remain many details to work out. Your patience is very much appreciated through this process.
We are eager for the CHC to get started on this important initiative and are extremely excited by the possibilities it provides. Thank you for your work with Clark Honors College students and for your scholarly contributions to your fields, the CHC, and the UO. We look forward to working with you – and many other new partners – as we create the finest honors college experience in the nation.
Karen and Jayanth