Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 1 Spring 1992 University of Delaware Annual Report University of Delaware Annual Report/Financial Report 1990-91 The University of Delaware, which traces its origins to Alison's academy, has an impressive history of encouraging regular evaluation of its programs and priorities through a variety of planning activities. Over the past five years, that effort has been enhanced even further as the campus has participated in a comprehensive self-review. The process began with Project Vision, an initiative conceived by then-President Russel C. Jones in 1987-88. Project Vision established a framework for subsequent planning activities. The ideas generated from this process were refined by a Faculty Review Panel in 1989-90 into an essay entitled "A Focused Vision for the University of Delaware." Among that report's recommendations were that the University remain a medium-sized, comprehensive institution with select areas of emphasis. The report also stressed the integration of teaching, research and public service, the need to increase University responsiveness to changes in the population of prospective students and the demand for higher education in Southern Delaware. After his appointment as President in 1990, David P. Roselle appointed a Focused Vision Implementation Committee that was charged with transforming the "Focused Vision" essay into a strategic plan for implementing the goals of Project Vision. The implementation committee's report noted, in part: "In the course of the last two decades, the University of Delaware has achieved balance between the liberal arts and professional subjects and between emphases on teaching, research and public service. The implementation committee supports the continued development of this balance as the best model for educating the University's students and for providing service to the state and to other University constituencies. Because of this balance, students at the University of Delaware have the opportunity to study with faculty who are committed both to teaching and research. A balanced institution is, however, vulnerable to confusion of purpose that makes it difficult to establish priorities and a strong identity." To that end, the committee proposed five strategic goals for the University "to overcome those tendencies and to build upon the University's ability to integrate and enhance teaching, research and public service." These goals are: * Provide high-quality, affordable undergraduate education that gains greater recognition in the state, region and nation; * Strengthen research and increase the national and international distinction of selected graduate programs; * Better integrate public service values into University life and provide greater assistance to our state, nation and global community; * Nurture a campus environment characterized by respect for people of different races, genders, nations, sexual orientations and backgrounds; and * Provide the human, intellectual, cultural, financial and physical resources required to meet the University's goals. The result of all this review and self-evaluation, the Focused Vision Implementation Report, has become the strategic plan for the University, and it also has formed the framework of the University's documentation for reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. *** In 1921, when the Middle States Association was formed, the University was among the first institutions accredited by the group. It has been continuously accredited every 10 years since that time. Work on the accreditation review began in 1989 with the appointment of a steering committee. In 1991, Margaret Andersen, associate provost for academic affairs, was named to oversee the Middle States accreditation response, with assistance from Russell R. Dynes, research professor of sociology. Based on suggestions from the steering committee, five task forces were created, paralleling the five strategic goals identified in the Focused Vision Implementation Report. For each task force, co-chairs were appointed--one from the faculty and one from the administration. Task forces were designed to emphasize continuity with earlier planning efforts. In the summer of 1991, chairs were asked to circulate the relevant portions of the Implementation Report to task force members and to solicit suggestions that could be refined during meetings in the early fall. This accreditation process provided still another layer of broad-based participation in the University's ongoing planning activities. The eight-member Middle States team, chaired by Keith Kennedy, former provost at Cornell University, visited the University Feb. 23-26, 1992, to review the University's self-study report and talk to trustees, the president, the provost, task force chairpersons and representatives groups of faculty, students, administrators and staff across campus. The team then conferred and made a preliminary report A formal accreditation report is expected to be received in mid-July 1992. An extensive self-evaluation can be an insightful and productive process, but review by an external agency provides still another, and often quite instructive, perspective. So it was particularly rewarding to find that the preliminary report of the Middle States evaluation team confirmed many of our own internal findings. It identified our strengths and reminded us of areas that we are aware need fixing. The team's report cited several areas of particular strengths at the University, including faculty research, graduate education, the Honors Program, the international thrust in undergraduate education and the substantial roles for women as decision makers. The report also questioned whether the University had reached a consensus on the balance between graduate and undergraduate education, noted a low ratio of assistant professors to professors with tenure and stated a need for the University to increase black student enrollment and the number of non-white faculty. The report noted, "The University of Delaware is an excellent position to continue as both leader and partner in expanding educational opportunities throughout the state." Summarizing, it concluded: "Overall the University of Delaware has been extraordinary in both the depth and breadth of its planning. The administration and faculty have worked collegially in sharing concerns regarding academic program, student affairs, diversity, facility needs including computer and library systems, and financial matters." *** To meet the University's goals, sound governance of its fiscal and physical resources is essential. Because of the need to reduce budget expenditures, while still maintaining the academic excellence and vitality of the institution, the University has adopted carefully considered processes and criteria for budget reduction. Developed with the approval and consultation of the Faculty Senate, this process is intended to engage the University community more broadly in budgetary planning, while enabling the administration to manage resources effectively. Although we currently face difficult budgetary constraints, the University is a vital and creative organization working to strengthen and enrich its academic programs. Excitement about the University's programs runs high. For example, despite declines in the numbers of students in the potential college-age pool, admissions are strong and gifts to the University are increasing. We continue to recruit a nationally distinguished faculty and to hire extremely competent and able administrators and staff. Thus, we have much to look forward to in the coming decade and into the next century. We know that we will have to do more with less, but are committed to the same standards of excellence that have governed the University thus far and which will continue to provide an excellent educational experience for our academic community. The University of Delaware has set itself an ambitious task, and its programmatic strengths; engaged and engaging faculty; diverse student body; supportive trustees, alumni and friends; and well-maintained and attractive grounds and buildings all augur well for continuing success. A land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution, the University of Delaware is involved, an involvement that extends throughout the state and throughout the world, an involvement that often reflects the cutting edge of new technology, an involvement that further indicates a foundation built on broad, secure ground. The University of Delaware is committed to the certain achievement of excellence in higher education for today and tomorrow.