University of Iowa

Greetings and Update

Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

Welcome to the spring semester! I hope you all had wonderful holidays and a great start to the new year. For those of you who are new to campus--we're very glad you're here, and I look forward to meeting you soon.

As the semester gets under way, it's a good time to share with you a brief overview of some recent accomplishments, and to take a look at some of the ways we are moving forward.

In the fall I presented to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the second annual progress and status report on our efforts and investments in the priority areas defined in our strategic plan for 2010 to 2016: Renewing The Iowa Promise. I invite you to visit this page: http://provost.uiowa.edu/academic/update.htm for a quick view of some of the highlights of our progress. As a University community, we should take great pride in what we've been able to accomplish in these first two years of the plan.

In the current year, we are investing in a series of exciting new initiatives to enhance two of the "pillars" of the strategic plan: Student Success and Better Futures for Iowans. In response to a call for proposals in spring 2012, faculty and staff submitted about 70 proposals, which went through a rigorous review process. In each of the two categories, 13 proposals were selected for funding. You can read brief descriptions of the funded student success projects (http://uc.uiowa.edu/student-success-proposals) and the funded "better futures" projects (http://provost.uiowa.edu/docs/plan/bfi-initiative.htm) online. If you do, I am sure you will be as impressed as I am by the creativity and collaborative energy represented there.

As I travel around the state speaking to Iowans about the University, I build my message around the academic priorities we have defined in Renewing The Iowa Promise, and how we are investing to advance those priorities. Last year, I focused on the "Knowledge and Practice" pillar. This year, I am focusing on the "Better Futures for Iowans" pillar, sharing just a few examples of the countless ways we engage with Iowans through campus/community partnerships, community education, public presentations, distance education, technical assistance, publicly engaged research/scholarship, service learning, and clinical service.

It is one of my most enjoyable responsibilities to stand in front of the Regents, community members in any one of Iowa's 99 counties, or any other audience, and remind them of the variety, quality, and value of the work that you do every day.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I wish you all a productive and energizing year ahead.

Sincerely,

P. Barry Butler
Executive Vice President and Provost

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