May 23, 2011
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STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2011-2015

   

The Department of Mathematics – UV

I. Missions

The Department of Mathematics is dedicated to

• Offer high quality education programs in mathematics, and statistics for its undergraduate and graduate students;

• Provide a friendly and supportive learning environment for students to succeed;

• Conduct high quality research programs that advance knowledge and serve society;

• Serve the public need to understand issues in mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics.

II. Visions

The Department of Mathematics envisions that, in the next 5 years,

• Its undergraduate programs in mathematics will strive to be among the best, most rigorous, and competitive programs in the region;

• Its graduate programs will grow and provide more qualified graduate students;

• Its faculty will continue to be active and productive in research, and continue to advance and disseminate knowledge through publications, professional service, and community outreach.

III. Goals, strategic priorities, critical factors, and assessments

In support of the unit missions, the department of Mathematics has established the following goals. Under each goal, strategic priorities are identified for accomplishing the goals. Strategies are provided for achieving each priority within a goal. Benchmarks for success of each priority are given. Since the success, at least partially, of these strategies depends critically on certain factors, we provide a list of the critical factors at the end of each goal.

Goal 1: Provide high quality and competitive academic programs

Strategic Priority 1: Continue strengthening the current undergraduate programs so that they are relevant to the success of our graduates in their future careers and in life.

Strategies:

• Keep enough tenure-track faculty members to offer appropriate courses in terms of content and availability, at all levels. Maintain the rigor of all courses offered.

• Update the curriculum on a regular basis to offer a high quality education package.

• Recognize and award instructors who contribute significantly to the advancement of teaching. Adapt more effective procedures in student evaluations and classroom visits for assessing the instructional quality of the programs.

• Provide sufficient support for teaching through initiatives like introducing technology, expanding the current learning center and tutorial lab, and providing more teaching assistantships. Search for new pedagogical uses of technologies for teaching and learning.

• Encourage faculty members to offer more opportunities for undergraduate research. Also see below, Goal 2, Strategic Priority 2.

Strategic Priority 2: Improve undergraduate enrollment and retention.

Strategies:

• Improve student performance through the strategies outlined in strategic priority 1.

• Provide adequate student support in terms of academic advising, lab assistants, and tutorial service.

• Build a learning friendly environment by activating student clubs, increasing student and faculty member interactions, creating space for students to meet each other, etc.

• Make recruitment visits to local high schools and distribute improved recruitment materials. Put more effort in recruiting freshmen.

• Continue emphasizing the quality of service courses and help more non-math majors succeed in these courses.

• Explore online/distant education opportunities by experimenting, developing and implementing online courses. Start from lower level courses first.

• Expose more non-CS students to computing by enhancing the CS1010/1011/1012 sequence.

Assessments:

• Number of majors

• Student credit hours, including the student credit hours generated from service courses.

• Freshmen enrollments and retention.

• Success rate of students in service courses.

Strategic Priority 3: Build a new undergraduate actuarial program.

Strategies:

• Justify that the program is in high demand in the state of Missouri and that it will be a successful program for the university, the community, and the state.

• Design a program that will maximize the use of existing resources, including existing courses that are offered by other academic units on the campus.

• Hire at least 2 new faculty members to provide necessary programmatic support.

Assessments:

• Enrollments in the initial offering of the program and the growth rate of the program in the following years.

Strategic Priority 4: Enhance graduate education.

Strategies:

• Expand tenure-track faculty to provide an adequate level of support for the educational needs of the graduate students, including converting many of the independent reading courses that are offered into regular lecture-style courses.

• Create more graduate assistantships to help recruit higher qualified and more diverse graduate students.

• Expand the student body to create a necessary critical mass among graduate students, especially PhD students, and, therefore, enhance their learning experience.

• Create a faculty and graduate student lounge to provide a space for casual interactions between students and faculty members.

• Graduate research: see below, Goal 2, Strategic Priority 2.

 Assessments:

• Number of students in all the graduate programs.

• Graduate degrees conferred.

• Graduate student publications like journal papers, conference proceedings, posters, or other academic related articles.

Critical Factors for Success:

• Maintain high academic standards through the collective efforts of the faculty.

• Allocate resources and acquire manpower to guarantee better teaching and all of the needed student support services.

• Reduce the gap in salaries between our faculty and the faculty of peer or sister universities.

• Replace 1 lost faculty position as soon as possible to meet the immediate programmatic needs.

Goal 2: Enhance existing research programs

Strategic Priority 1: Encourage and prize productive research activities.

Strategies:

• Preserve and enhance an active and productive research faculty that has high morale.

• Obtain support to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty members.

• Mentor junior faculty.

• Recognize and award faculty members for their achievements, contributions and efforts in research.

• Continue to emphasize and support external grant proposal writing.

• Recognize faculty members who receive external funding for research.

• Provide travel support for research activities like attending conferences and workshops.

• Promote collaborative research projects among faculty members.

• Endorse faculty involvement in professional service such as journal editors, conference organizers, manuscript referees, grant reviewers etc.

 Assessments:

• Journal papers, books, and significant proceedings papers.

• Research funding generated.

• Any form of significant recognition at regional, national, or international levels.

• Significant involvements in professional organizations, publications etc.

 Strategic Priority 2: Integrate research with the teaching and learning missions.

Strategies:

• Encourage faculty to include education components in their research programs to infuse teaching and learning with the excitement of discovery in research.

• Promote involvement of graduate and undergraduate students in research projects.

• Encourage students to participate in seminars, colloquium talks, and professional conferences. Promote a scholarly atmosphere within the department.

• Encourage students to present their research results in department colloquiums or external conferences.

 Assessments:

• Projects that involve students.

• Number of presentations.

 Critical Factors for Success

• Continue to secure external research funding.

• Enhance departmental infrastructure and resources to provide adequate travel support, computing power, and the ability to furnish a faculty student lounge.

• Keep up the size of the research faculty by replacing 1 lost position, hiring at least 2 tenure track faculty member in the areas related to actuarial science, and hiring at least 2 tenure-track positions in computer science.

• Expand the research faculty size by 2 additional strategic hirings in the next 4 years. The department has at least one very distinguished faculty member. We need to position ourselves so that we can maintain such a high profile through strategic hiring, perhaps at a non-entry level.

Goal 3: Reach out to the communities and the external world

Strategic Priority 1: Promote the image of the department.

Strategies:

• Improve the departmental webpage to demonstrate the research and teaching qualities of the department.

• Visit local high schools and junior colleges to give talks, lectures etc.

• Create better quality brochures for distribution.

• Strengthen connections to alumni and use their success stories and social networks to promote the excellence of the department.

Assessments:

• The quality of the department webpage and brochures.

• Number of school visits.

• Quality of alumni communication with survey.

Strategic Priority 2: Serve and engage the community and professional organizations.

Strategies:

• Support faculty and student involvement in community activities and services.

• Encourage interactions between the faculty and local industries in terms of training courses, technical consulting, and educational projects.

• Nominate faculty members with contributions to the communication services for recognition.

• Recognize faculty members who play significant roles in professional organizations.

• Continue the services to the local high schools through Advanced Credit Programs.

• Continue the successful annual public lecture series in mathematics and computer science.

• Actively engage in fund raising activities through the alumni network and connections to local business.

 Assessments:

• Number of faculty who are involved in community or professional service activities.

• Any recognition of community or professional services.

Critical Factors for Success

• Incentives for faculty contributions.

• Balance faculty workload to facilitate research and teaching responsibilities.

• Optimize coordination with similar efforts at the college and campus level.

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