Campus Conversation Feb. 16: Grand Challenges Research

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I invite you to join me from noon to 1 pm Tuesday, February 16, in Northrop's Best Buy Theater, for a Campus Conversation about part of our strategic plan: organizing and supporting Grand Challenges research. By that date, we will all have in hand the recommendations of the Provost's Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team--the product of a thoughtful process shaped by the expertise of a dedicated committee of distinguished faculty across the breadth of our disciplines, as well as by robust discussions with the broader campus community.

The February 16 conversation will be hosted by University Relations, in partnership with my office. Under the title "Driving Tomorrow"--the banner of the campus strategic plan--the conversation will focus on the opportunities we have as a campus to lead inquiry and solve problems through our research. The Research Strategies Team, under the leadership of Prof. Raymond Duvall, has identified a set of critical societal challenges where the University is well-positioned to have great impact; just as importantly, it has identified strategies and specific steps to help realize the larger vision of a more integrated and collaborative campus.

I want to underscore that the Grand Challenges priorities, where we will make a special claim about the range of our aspirations, are just one element of a comprehensive picture of our research strengths. These priorities recognize and build on wide-ranging interdisciplinary work as reflected in many ideas submitted by faculty and reviewed by the Strategies Team to meet specific criteria. The Strategies Team and the campus recognize, however, that the GC priorities complement our institutional commitment to the specialized research and disciplinary scholarship that are also central to the excellence and vitality of our University.

We hope you will be able to attend this event or to participate online. (Please RSVP if you plan to attend. Visit us online the day of the event to join by WebEx.)

Karen Hanson
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

This message, in modified format, was emailed to Twin Cities faculty and staff Feb. 2, 2016.