Specifically, the paper should address the following questions:
- What are the major drivers of change, now and in the foreseeable future, in the delivery of educational services, and how will they likely impact FIU and our predominantly minority and non-traditional (working) students who have been shown to have a greater need for high-touch educational experiences?
- What are the major drivers of change in the assessment of learning (i.e., prior learning and competency-based assessment) at the university level, and how will they impact FIU? For instance, the recently passed HB7029 requires the Board of Governors to develop rules to enable students to obtain university credit for online courses, including MOOCs, taken before they enroll in a SUS institution.
- How will new modalities of education impact the six-year graduation rate of our first-time-in-college students, the primary performance funding indicator used by the Board of Governors?
- The American public research university is built upon instructional revenues providing the salary support for faculty to pursue their research. How can the research university survive if the focus is on providing validation of individual learning in ways that are “less expensive than ever before”?
- What alternative scenarios of institutional change should we consider, and what are the pros and cons as well as the costs of the initiatives proposed?
- How can faculty, staff, students, and the community be thoroughly engaged with changes that are proposed?
- How will FIU respond to, and benefit from, the changes in the global educational market?
- How do we balance the pressure to deliver inexpensive degrees with the need to maintain a high quality product that represents excellent value to our students and maintains FIU’s trusted brand status?
- How can we best harness the innate entrepreneurial spirit of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni?
- How can we get maximum benefit from FIU’s growing health related initiatives that include building on existing FIU expertise and demonstrating value to our university, South Florida, and global constituencies?
I expect broad-based consultation in the development of this white paper. I hope that its quality will allow for it to serve as a base-line document for the new strategic plan that we must soon develop—much in the same way that working papers informed our most recent plan.
To begin the process, I ask members of our community to write short (1-2 pages) concept papers that answer any and/or all of the questions posed above and/or to pose questions and solutions to other pertinent areas that bear on our future. These papers and other relevant materials will be shared on the project web site and will guide the formation of the commission and any working groups and their subsequent deliberations. We expect several public discussions during the Fall semester to ensure broad-based participation. To submit concept papers and to get updates on the progress of this commission please go to Submit a Paper.
I am very excited that we can initiate this important conversation on the shape of things to come for our FIU. Let me thank Dean Furton for his willingness to lead and guide our efforts in this most important enterprise!