Roadmap Initiatives Web Chat

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Roadmap Initiatives webchat on Wednesday, August 24 2016. The following is a transcript of the discussion in chronological order.

Throughout the month of September the Office of the President will host Town Hall meetings on all three UM campuses. The Roadmap Town Hall meetings are an opportunity to discuss the Roadmap Initiatives with President Frenk and campus leaders as the planning process moves toward implementation.  You can register to attend one or more Town Halls through Eventbrite. We welcome feedback on any of the Roadmap initiatives at any time through the Roadmap website, by using #UMRoadmap on social media, or via email.

We are grateful for the questions, ideas and comments shared during the past year.

Web Chat Transcript

Ijeoma Adele
Hello. We are delighted you are joining us as we continue the university-wide discussion of the Roadmap initiatives. The draft initiatives were released at beginning of summer, and have been shared in eight eBlasts to the University community since then. Today’s web chat is being hosted by the Office of the President. Khaleel Seecharan, assistant vice president for special projects, will be joined by his colleagues Ben Tortolani and Ijeoma Adele. This team has organized the meetings related to the Roadmap all year and have been gathering feedback and input from across the U since last September.

Khaleel Seecharan
Thank you for all the questions and comments so far this summer. And thank you again for joining us today. This is an opportunity to continue the conversation on the Roadmap to our New Century that began a year ago with the Listening Exercise. Based on what people shared during the Listening Exercise, eight working groups were formed who spent time conducting research and creating the draft Roadmap Initiatives.

Khaleel Seecharan
This webchat is another way we are gathering input on these drafts as we prepare to finalize the ideas and shift to implementation. Let’s kick off with some questions that we heard from the university community during the summer.

Ijeoma Adele
Question: Thank you to the Quad for the proposal of establishing a Platform for Educational Innovation at UM. It is exciting and encouraging! Are lecturers considered educator faculty and professors of practice? Just want to clarify. Senior Lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences. Posted on the Roadmap website.

Khaleel Seecharan
Lecturers are considered part of the faculty. The Platform for Educational Innovation offers opportunities for lecturers.

This University-wide Platform plans to enhance teaching and learning by creating more learning experiences for students and faculty, implementing system changes, increasing access to academic technology, and encouraging new approaches in the classroom.

Ijeoma Adele
Question: Good outline, but it is not yet clear how the 100 talents will serve research, creativity, innovation and education for the next generation. It is also not yet clear how the 100 talents might help bring the world to the U and the U to the world. I feel that a clearer definition of these macro level qualifications would help identify and recruit the right candidates. As part of this bold initiative it would be helpful to see more clearly how areas of research and creativity will find ample space and resources to flourish in the next decade. Posted on the Roadmap website.

Khaleel Seecharan
Thank you for your comment - yes, the working groups did a great deal of research and engaged in a lot of debate and discussion to frame these initiatives, but there is certainly more detail needed in many areas. The working group proposes to expand UM's reputation as a magnet for talent by retaining the terrific talent we have and drawing new people here whose research and creativity can enhance our impact.

You are right that more detail is needed to identify and recruit these candidates, and those qualifications might look different in different schools and departments. People in every school will need to be engaged in identifying the qualifications in different disciplines.

And I think that part of retaining talent is providing support for faculty to pursue their work with creativity and innovation. Some of the other roadmap initiatives - for example Problem-based Interdisciplinary Collaboration and the Hemispheric Innovation Hub - speak to some of these investments.

Michael Alessandri
I hope this roadmap sets a broad vision for UM strategically and that that the 100 Talents will be wisely and strategically sought. It is important that we be less passive and more active in realizing our vision for a great U. Let's just not seize opportunities that present themselves to us but rather create opportunities that fit our strategic vision.

Khaleel Seecharan
Thank you Michael. It is true that many Roadmap proposals are calling on all of us to collaborate strategically on behalf of the University and our collective strengths.

Michael Alessandri
Thanks. I was truly honored to be part of the Culture of Belonging Quad and I look forward to working on that initiative and all the others with everyone here at the U! (And special thanks to Ben!).

Benjamin Tortolani
Great working with you Michael!

Leishan Pall
Hi Khaleel, since restored relations with Cuba, are there plans for UM to expand there?

Khaleel Seecharan
Leishan - we are having conversations as many institutions are, to consider what paths would be most appropriate for the U.

Angela Zentefis
We've talked a lot about how faculty and researchers can collaborate and create new ideas and knowledge. How do you foresee staff functions collaborate on new initiatives and support the Roadmap better?

Khaleel Seecharan
Angela - this is a great question. One immediate way is for staff to add their voice to the ongoing consultation. Many have already done so and we appreciate their input. Additionally, staff play a key role in supporting the work of our faculty and often can see the logistical and operational roadblocks that hinder interdisciplinary work or that can advance innovation. Frequently, staff are the first to see if a great idea can be successful or what is standing in the way of one of the university commitments. We absolutely need to engage staff and we hope staff will join us at the upcoming Town Halls in September.

Ijeoma Adele
Please register here for the Town Halls.

Adam Troy
Echoing Angela's comment earlier about staff inclusion and communication. Staff want to collaborate in research and can create campus events and programs that reflect what happens in the classroom. Has there been talk about creating online forums where we can increase this type of communication & collaboration? Are there plans for resource fairs for faculty to meet with staff and discover intersections?

Khaleel Seecharan
Adam - this a great idea that we will include as a part of the consultation.

Guest Harley
Question: Does access also extend to a possible expansion of the tuition remission program to include PhD programs for staff who meet the school/college admissions requirements?

Khaleel Seecharan
Harley - we know that tuition remission is an important benefit that all faculty and staff value. The working group on Access with Excellence proposed bold ideas about many opportunities including tuition remission. We now have a lot of work to do to consider cost, fundraising, definitions of need to determine what we will proceed with and when.

Monica Hoo
Thank you for your response Khaleel. (Guest Harley)

Michael Alessandri
I think people generally understand and appreciate the process-oriented approach the President has taken here. The flip side of that is we shouldn't take too long for the President to have direct meet and greets with individual departments.

Dacia Simpson
Michael I agree some of the items outlined are needed now such as classroom upgrades

Dacia Simpson
With the current classroom upgrades - we are not able to support faculty and student teaching and learning initiatives in the current classroom setting.

Michael Alessandri
I know many departments are eager to not only share their unique needs but also their amazing stories of success and impact. If the process takes too long, people become suspicious and begin to disengage.

Khaleel Seecharan
Michael - there are many amazing stories in departments across our campuses. And, we have been hearing many of those stories through the Listening Exercise and other avenues in the past year. We hope to capture more direct input during the Town Halls and work with the schools and college on opportunities to implement these ideas moving forward. Part of the strength of the Roadmap is that it calls on all of us to help make these initiatives successful.

Alexandra Bassil
I work in UM Communications and PR and we would like to know and write about the wonderful student success stories and impact stories and share with the media and internal audiences.

Angela Zentefis
I have another question, on student life. The President made mention of making modifications to student dorms with a transgender or gender-neutral floor, in conjunction with the Culture of Belonging. I know that student dorms are a competitive advantage for higher education. Can we touch on student dorms upgrades?

Khaleel Seecharan
Angela - we are in design for a new student housing building with the goal of opening in the fall of 2019. I know that the Division of Student Affairs is actively engaging with students on their needs. Also, we opened this fall the LGBTQ Center on campus as another safe space for our students.

Leishan Pall
Will the Town Hall meetings be live streamed?

Ijeoma Adele
Hi Leishan - unfortunately, the Town Hall meetings will not be live streamed, they are in-person meetings.

Michael Alessandri
Other aspects of culture of belonging that will require more attention are campus accessibility and greater inclusion of students with disabilities. A careful analysis of what UM does well and where we lack in terms of making our campus a truly accessible and inclusive community is needed. For example, we need more clever architectural design that doesn't put ramps in the back or on the sides of the buildings. Students with disabilities should be able to enter through the same main entrances as others.

Khaleel Seecharan
Michael - that is a great point. These are the observations we can only address if everyone shares these insights. We will share with the Division of Student Affairs.

Ijeoma Adele
Everyone is encouraged to read the recent Culture of Belonging story posted on e-Veritas, to see how the University of Miami is fostering a Culture of Belonging.

Marvin Dawkins
Is there an "official" start date for implementing/launching initiatives once all of the phases we are currently going through have been completed? Will the schedule for implementation be based more on which recommendations require funding rather than being based on prioritizing?

Khaleel Seecharan
Marvin - After the Roadmap Town Hall conversations in September, we will shift from gathering input to planning implementation. We are in active conversations about how best to do that and each initiative will have different needs and timelines. I know that is a little vague, but I want to emphasize that the September Town Halls are part of the final steps in the input process and that after that implementation will begin.

Khaleel Seecharan
These questions are really great everyone - let's keep it going!

Dacia Simpson
What do you envision the UM classrooms of the future to be?

Khaleel Seecharan
Dacia - the working group for Education Innovation suggested a few ideas to help think about the future of our classrooms. We hope to gain greater input from our students and our faculty during the consultation process. Then, as we move towards implementation, bring these ideas together and design the characteristics of the classrooms that our faculty and students need.

Cristina
What is the main focus for the Access with Excellence initiative?

Marvin Dawkins
The main focus of the Access with Excellence initiative is to address the financial barriers to access before, during and after matriculation at the University of Miami.

Rose Glemaud
I am glad to see that the university will be helping more with study abroad.

Marvin Dawkins
The Access with Excellence quad spent a great deal of its work on creating greater access to study abroad opportunities and issued specific proposals in its report.

Cristina
Is there a projected implementation date for the Access with Excellence initiative?

Khaleel Seecharan
Cristina - there is still a lot of work to do to make these ideas in to actionable plans, and there is a lot of enthusiasm about starting this work together!

Ijeoma Adele
Question: Although, the word Hemispheric is used I see a strong concentration on Latin America and not too much focus on other areas. The word Hemispheric would lead me to believe that there would be an equal amount of focus on other areas of the world, such as Asia and Europe, etc. My question is, am I seeing this type of focus on Latin America because that is our primary focus in becoming “Hemispheric”, or is the Latin American concentration just phase 1 of the University’s hemispheric journey, meaning we can expect to see similar levels of focus on the other areas of the globe in the future phases? Posted on the website. Posted on the Roadmap website.

Khaleel Seecharan
Miami has long served as a bridge between North and South America and we, the University of Miami, can take greater advantage of our strategic location. University of Miami is a global university with a hemispheric advantage.

The working group's proposal seeks to really maximize Miami's unique geographical endowment by considering ways UM can be a hemispheric hub. This does not mean that the university won't be active in the many areas throughout the world where our faculty, alumni, and students study, live and work. Through the Hemispheric Innovation Hub and Hemispheric University Consortium initiatives, the plan is to develop a thoughtful hemispheric strategy based on broad partnerships and institutional consortia.

Charisse Lopez-Mason
As we move from listening to implementation, will we continue live and virtual town halls to keep faculty, staff, and students engaged and informed about our progress? If so, I recommend developing a cadence for these.

Khaleel Seecharan
Charisse - we are not yet sure how we will proceed moving forward. Your comment is noted and we will keep that in mind. We know that we need to continue updating everyone regularly on this important work.

Rose Glemaud
We also need to include the Caribbean.

Khaleel Seecharan
Yes Rose, all the Americas and certainly the Caribbean too

Marvin Dawkins
How can staff engage more openly in the "Roadmap" discussions without feeling constrained by comments/input that conflict with current practices in their units?

Ijeoma Adele
The University community can share ideas anonymously here.

Erica Arroyo
Which of the focus areas/pillars do you feel will be the most difficult to achieve and which campus partners can be most instrumental in helping the University achieve success?

Khaleel Seecharan
The four pillars are ongoing and enduring aspirations. These aspirations challenge our university community to constantly strive to be the best 'Canes we can be in all we do whether in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in the wide world.

Ijeoma Adele
Thank you all for joining to chat with us today. Throughout September the Office of the President will be hosting Roadmap Town Hall meetings where you can discuss the Roadmap with one another and with President Frenk and University leaders. These meetings will be important as we transition to acting on these plans. Please register here. As always you can submit comments or any other questions at any time