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January 25, 2010
Dear Academic Affairs Colleagues:
As explained in their memorandum on January 20th, the Program Prioritization Task Force (PPTF) has begun its work. The task force will give you periodic updates on its progress, and will provide ample opportunity for members of the community to provide input and feedback. I want to thank the task force cochairs, Dr. Patricia Hulsebosch and Dr. Khadijat Rashid, and its members for their commitment to ensuring the long-term viability of our academic programs.
I also want to identify some initiatives that have been proposed, and that will go forward even as the PPTF continues its work.
Both the University Faculty Senate and the faculty legislative councils (the Council on Undergraduate Education and The Council on Graduate Education) have before them proposals for new and modified courses and programs. The curriculum councils will not be receiving any additional new programs for review until criteria is developed by the PPTF.
As you know, our Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2) is one of six National Science Foundation Science of Learning Centers nationwide. One of the planned outcomes of VL2, and in fact, one of the expectations for continued NSF support, is the establishment of a doctoral program in cognitive neuroscience. Planning for this will continue.
Before he came to Gallaudet, President Hurwitz discussed with Dr. James DeCaro, interim president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, Dr. Tom Pearson, director of the National Center on Deaf Health Research of the University of Rochester Medical Center, and me the possibility of establishing a partnership to train people who are deaf and hard of hearing to become primary and allied health care providers. This dovetails with existing and planned programs
within our Department of Biology and our Department of Chemistry and Physics. We will announce shortly the creation of a joint task force to explore this further.
Please know that these initiatives are consistent with our strategic goals, especially with our overarching enrollment priorities. In April of this year, as part of their charge, the Program Prioritization Task Force will develop criteria for new program review. This criteria will then be reviewed by the larger campus community. In this way, new program development will move in close concert with program prioritization to achieve our long-term objectives.
Stephen F. Weiner