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Strategic Planning in the Department of Political Science

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Strategic Planning in the
Department of Political
Science
Meredith Bacon and Steve Bullock
Department of Political Science
University of Nebraska at Omaha
The Department of Political Science
в–є Approximately
250 undergraduate majors
в–є Approximately 60 graduate students enrolled in
M.A. or M.S. programs
в–є Nine full time faculty
в–є Courses offered both traditionally with extensive
use of pedagogical technology and on-line
в–є Courses offered in U. S. Politics, Political Theory,
Comparative Politics and International Politics
Strategic Planning
в–є The
Department’s most recent strategic plan
was prepared for our periodic program
review (2006). It was minimal but reflected
both UNO’s threefold goals and the College
of Arts and Sciences’ strategic plan.
в–є
в–є
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has evolved a strategic plan, the
goals of which are (1) that the university will be recognized as a
student-centered metropolitan university, for which there are five subgoals each with a number of objectives; (2) that UNO will be
recognized for its academic excellence as a metropolitan university, for
which there are three sub-goals and a number of objectives; and, (3)
that UNO will be recognized for its outstanding engagement with the
urban, regional, national and global communities for which there are
six objectives. The university-wide, college and academic program
strategic plans reflect these values and priorities.
The Department of Political Science, reflecting the values and
objectives of the university and College of Arts and Sciences plans,
approached writing its strategic plan using the SWOP method –
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Problems – in each of the
three goal-categories. Overall, we believe the department is reaching
its goals but cannot sustain its momentum without new faculty lines,
additional office staff and technology as well as more office space. The
growth in our number of undergraduate majors and minors and the
successful resurrection of our graduate program has placed a
significant strain on our already limited resources. Keeping this caveat
in mind, the following is a chart of our plan, its strengths and
weaknesses and its potential opportunities and problems.
Responses to the 2006 and 2007
environmental scans
п‚·
INCREASE RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND GRADUATION OF
STUDENTS FROM UNDER REPRESENTED POPULATIONS
► Maintain and increase the Department’s presence and
leadership in:




Dual Enrollment Programs, especially among minority populations
On-line education (distance education)
Voter outreach programs among minority populations
Civics Nebraska Partnership
в–є Teach
Service Learning courses
в–є Teach minority politics courses
в–є Visit high school social science classes to inform them about
Political Science at UNO
•
INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS WHO CONSIDER
UNO THEIR FIRST CHOICE
 Offutt programs
 Teacher cohorts in graduate programs; distance
education
 Increase number of evening offerings

INCREASE THE VISIBILITY OF UNO’S
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS
 Continue to be accessible “experts” on local,
national and international political issues for the
media
 Use university and community fora to highlight
faculty expertise and student experiential
learning in programs such as internships

DESIGN, MAINTAIN AND PROMOTE, AND ASSESS
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES DESIGNED TO
RECRUIT AND DEVELOP STUDENT, FACULTY AND
STAFF OF DIVERSE TALENTS AND BACKGROUNDS
 Strive to fill faculty and staff openings with qualified
candidates from diverse backgrounds
 Create and develop a fifth area of concentration within
the major devoted to diversity politics, such as existing
courses on African-American, Latino, Asian-American,
Women’s and LGBT politics

INCREASE UNO’S RESPONSE TO THE
NEEDS, INTERESTS, AND DIFFERENCES
INHERENT IN THE DIVERSE COMMUNITY
IT SERVES
 Continue to offer a wide range of comparative
and international courses which contribute to
student and community awareness of
international diversity and its presence in the
metropolitan area
 Develop a course(s) on conflict resolution and
dialogic techniques of dispute resolution
In responding to revisions in the strategic
plan, the Department of Political Science
made few innovative content changes. We
did, however, reassess how the plan might
emphasize what we were already doing well
and what we needed to do in addition to
meet the dynamic needs of our diverse
constituencies.
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