Dear Colleagues:

As we announced at the Chancellor’s Spring Town Hall, the Academic Futures Committee has referred the topic of Arts & Sciences academic reorganization and specifically the related white paper (Cumalat/Julien) to the Arts & Sciences Strategic Planning Committee (A&S SPC) and my office for consideration. The A&S SPC is considering the white paper primarily in the context of the potential impact of such a reorganization on the college’s strategic plan.

A&S SPC’s deliberations give us a very important parallel opportunity to examine the potential consequences, both positive and negative, of a proposed academic reorganization for our ability to provide a rich and wide-ranging liberal arts education for all CU Boulder students, for CU Boulder’s other colleges and schools who partner with A&S, and for our ability to support the work of our faculty.

To facilitate this collaborative focus, I am forming a committee to examine the potential outcomes described above. Specifically, I will be charging the committee with addressing the following:

  1. Examine and make recommendations regarding the academic structure(s) proposed in the “Cumalat/Julien” paper. That paper is focused solely on Arts & Sciences, but the committee will not be precluded from examining additional alternative academic organizational structures that might significantly benefit the campus. 
  2. Within the examination of any proposed academic organizational change, I expect the analysis to contain a discussion of “why” such a change would be beneficial to our faculty, students and staff. The principle focus should be on the academic benefits that might accrue from such reorganization. This analysis should consider Arts & Sciences as a unit as well as individual units and divisions within Arts & Sciences. Given the size of A&S and its role in providing a strong liberal arts base to our campus, the committee should also carefully consider the impact of reorganization on other academic units not affiliated with Arts & Sciences (e.g., other schools and colleges, institutes).
  3. Should the committee choose to examine the organization of academic units outside of Arts & Sciences, I expect it to notify the Provost and those units as quickly as possible so that they can be full participants in any discussion. 
  4. If, after these analyses, the committee determines that a reorganization of Arts & Sciences is appropriate, within its recommendations it should note specific areas on which we should focus moving forward, including recommendations for additional committees (e.g., curriculum, advising, space, budget, personnel, advancement, etc.).

The committee will be chaired by Senior Vice Provost Bill Kaempfer. So that the campus can observe and share in the work of the committee, I am asking it to provide its recommendations to me by November 2, 2018, after which time those recommendations will be available for general campus review and comment through November 30, 2018. I believe the work of A&S SPC and the committee I am forming should be symbiotic and aligned, and I am open to some cross-membership of the two committees to ensure that a clear understanding of the scope of work of each remains at the forefront of their efforts. 

My request of you is to provide me with names of potential committee members from each of the divisions of Arts & Sciences, as well as from the other schools, colleges and administrative units on campus. I am interested in any highly qualified nominees from the ranks of faculty and staff and am particularly interested in having significant representation on the committee from current and/or past chairs and/or unit heads. Additionally, I would like to ensure that relevant subject matter experts from various support functions also are involved (e.g., budget, advising, human resources, etc.). I am also enthusiastically seeking undergraduate and graduate student representation on the committee. 

Please send your nomination to at your earliest convenience. The nominations will close on April 25, and I intend to finalize the composition of the committee by April 27.