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VA2020 Commission on Science and Technology
Meeting of Models and Opportunities Committee, 27 APR 99

Attending: George Hornberger, Anita Jones, Dick Merrill, Karen Parshall, John O'Connell

Plan for proceeding:

Review of UVa "models". The need to consider Departments was pointed out as well as the need to consider cross-disciplinary activities (Centers and other programs). Three action items were identified.

  1. Review Department self studies, section that discusses comparison with peers and section outlining plans and aspirations fore the next five years. ACTION: Ask Amy to get these copies of these portions of the Departmental reports. [GMH]
  2. Review Academic Enhancement Program. Get a list of programs funded; get copies of any evaluations that have been done; if no evaluations have been done, ask Gene Block for opinions. [GMH will ask Amy to coordinate].
  3. Poll Commission for ideas on internal models. [GMH].

Develop a list of candidates for "outside" models. The committee needs to do some work to select models for study. The models must be diverse, but must represent a "manageable" set. Two action items.

  1. Provide a list of models that were suggested by Commission members in past meetings. [AKJ].
  2. Poll Commission members for suggestions. [GMH]

John O'Connell indicated that the AAAS publication, "Competitiveness in Academic Research", provides much valuable information for us. One author points out that the most important (and difficult) question for an institution to address in planning is "Where do we want to go?" There are likely to be diverse answers to this question for different schools, departments, and groups around the grounds. If we can identify patterns in answers to this question, we might be more effective in selecting models for study. [ACTION: Request copies of the AAAS book for the committee members; AKJ (already done!!)]

A strategic plan exists for the Medical School and for the School of Engineering. The committee should look at these. [ACTION: obtain copies of these documents. GMH will ask Amy – we may already have these???]

The plan for conducting the committee work was discussed. Several options were mentioned for working. We agreed, however, that we will hold a 2 -day workshop in the Fall. A detailed plan will have to be done over the coming months. It is critical that we identify potential participants (other than the Commission members) right away so we can line up attendees. We also need to select a date. [ACTION: Ask Amy to find a date of a non-football weekend on which Gene Block can attend; AKJ (already in progress!!)]

We may decide to interview principals for the internal models that we select. My idea was to ask teams of two members of the committee to meet with principals. An alternative would be to involve the whole committee. Also, John O. indicated that he has seen "focus groups" be successful in identifying common opportunities and problems. If we can do enough work to specify the key questions, we can look in to getting someone to run a focus group for us.

Although scheduling will be difficult, it is critical that the committee work over the summer. We will schedule meetings as appropriate for the work at hand. Over the next month or so, it is critical that we firm up ideas for the Fall workshop. OUR NEXT MEETING WILL BE 0730-0900 ON MONDAY, 10 MAY. Let's use the Odum Room in Clark Hall again. Future meetings will be arranged to minimize conflicts with individual schedules. [ACTION: Ask committee members for their schedules through August; GMH.]


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