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September 22, 1997

Fall retreat fuels campus planning effort

'The Engaged University' was theme of Chancellor’s Retreat

Has an increasing reliance on federal research funds led the nation's universities to emphasize science-based studies and research at the cost of other academic offerings and basic instruction?

That was one of the provocative questions posed by Anne Petersen, senior vice president for programs of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, in her keynote address at the Chancellor's Fall Retreat. The daylong session took place at Peachwood’s in Pasatiempo on Wednesday, September 10.

Approximately 100 faculty, staff, students, and UC Santa Cruz Foundation members attended the annual event. The theme of the retreat was "The Engaged University," and Petersen's views on the need to redefine the post-Cold War research university opened the day's discussion.

"Many research universities are like decorated war heroes that can't acclimate to peacetime," said Petersen, who added that in order to survive and thrive, universities must redirect their resources to meet society's current needs.

In her keynote speech, Petersen named five priorities that the Kellogg Foundation has identified as key elements of grant proposals that positively affect its consideration in making awards. The five are:

These general topics formed the springboard for small-group discussions, one of the day’s central activities. Faculty participants facilitated these discussions, which resulted in summary reports to the group, as well as detailed records of the sessions to be included among information considered by the Millennium Committee.

The small-group discussions addressed the following topics:

Each of the eight groups listed their main concerns and ideas for the topic assigned. Among the dozens of ideas that were recorded were considerations of the classroom environment and faculty/student interactions; opportunities for collaborations within the university and with external partners; communications and image/reputation; and issues of budget, planning and campus infrastructure.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Millennium Committee Cochair Gail Hershatter noted that the discussions and resultant lists of ideas will be a valuable resource during this period of information gathering for the committee.

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