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President Beilock shared an update with Dartmouth faculty on the ongoing Arts & Sciences transformation project.
Dear faculty colleagues,
One of the most important parts of the beginning of my presidency at Dartmouth has been the opportunity to meet with so many of you and to hear about your work. In addition to numerous one-on-one conversations, I've also met with faculty committees, councils, and leadership groups across the institution. These meetings have highlighted the impact and promise of your world-class research and teaching—for our students, for Dartmouth, and for the world. These meetings have also shed light on pain points and where we, as an institution, can do more to hear faculty perspectives and support your work.
As a faculty member myself, I've developed a strong belief in the value of faculty input and shared governance in driving an institution forward. For those reasons, in addition to meetings I have instituted with the academic deans, I plan to consult regularly with the Council on Institutional Priorities. During its short tenure, CIPr has helped guide Dartmouth through pressing challenges and modeled the role a strong and productive faculty voice, with representation across the institution, can have on key strategic issues.
This year, I plan to regularly attend CIPr meetings with Provost Kotz (although not all of them so that CIPr can continue to have faculty-only meetings). My goal is that, in addition to working with CIPr on faculty priorities and budget, my senior leadership team and I can work with the council on strategy across the university. I also plan to engage with other standing councils and faculty committees on issues related to their areas of expertise.
In the interest of receiving further faculty input, I have asked Nina Pavcnik, the Niehaus Family Professor in International Studies, to serve as a special adviser to the president with a particular focus on major institutional priorities. Through her own research, her experience on multiple committees including the Committee Advisory to the President, the Committee on Organization and Policy, chair of the Department of Economics, and other service contributions to Dartmouth, Professor Pavcnik has demonstrated her skill in analyzing and responding to complex challenges of broad scope, which will serve her well in this new role.
One project that will benefit from Professor Pavcnik's involvement is the ongoing exploration of the structure and funding for the Arts & Sciences. Simply put, a strong Arts & Sciences is necessary for a strong Dartmouth. Last academic year, Dean Elizabeth Smith impressively led a series of faculty and staff working groups that considered how we can more closely align academics and the undergraduate student experience (Arts and Sciences Future project). As she and I discussed how to complete the work she began more than a year ago, it was clear to us that her continued involvement is essential. It is equally clear that she needs adequate time to focus on her duties as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and an expanded agenda that includes the Dartmouth Dialogue Project. Therefore, I have asked Professor Pavcnik to co-chair the steering committee for the next phase of the Arts and Sciences Future project with Provost Kotz, as any structure or budget changes for the Arts & Sciences have implications across the institution.
In the next few days, you will hear more from Provost Kotz and Professor Pavcnik about some of the ideas generated thus far, the plan to workshop these ideas with faculty, and the arc this project will take over the next academic year.
In my short time as president, I've been overwhelmed by your support and energized by your enthusiasm for Dartmouth's future. I am looking forward to the work we will do together, and I hope to see you at the summer reception I am hosting for faculty and staff next Thursday, July 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the Kemeny courtyard behind Berry Library.
Sian Leah Beilock