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 Strategic Planning

Vision Group 4: Teaching, learning, and advising at the graduate level


Jim Riehl

Vision Group Members

James P. Riehl, Dean Swenson College of Science and Engineering
Professor Joyce Strand, CEHSP
Timothy Holst, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education
Professor Judith Kritzmire, SFA
Professor Rajiv Vaidyanathan, LSBE
Professor Krista Twu, CLA
Cheryl Read, Graduate Student CLA
Nandini Bhowmick, Graduate Student CEHSP

Proposed Vision for UMD in 2020 Related to this Topic

UMD continues to increase the number and variety of high-quality, intellectually rigorous
masters and doctoral programs, attracting larger enrollments of graduate students from diverse
populations throughout the region, the nation, and abroad. Our research and professional
programs extend their reach across a national and international stage, continuing to nurture
and develop cooperative relationships with scholars and campuses across Minnesota and
the United States. Our international partner programs allow for fruitful collaborative research
with graduate programs and researchers in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Some
programs focus their missions through the unique geographical position of the campus with
respect to the geology and water resources of Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters, and
the boreal forest, and the rich history and heritage of the indigenous peoples and diverse
communities of the Upper Midwest. Other programs enrich their offerings by involving their
participants in cultural and technological developments across various global networks.

Graduate Education occupies a prominent position in the life of the campus, binding together
the intellectual community through the shared pursuit of new knowledge and innovation.
With a dedicated position in the campus operating budget, ongoing investment into the
intellectual and physical infrastructure supports this mission. Teaching assistantships and
sponsored research funding for research assistantships support the professional development
of graduate students, and meet the ever-pressing needs for programs to recruit and retain
the best students, maintaining our competitive advantage with respect to our peer institutions.
Meanwhile, the Office of Graduate Education continues to provide supplementary funding
allowances for the recruitment and retention of excellent students. All faculty have research,
instructional or mentorship opportunities to interact with graduate students. Graduate Students
have a distinctive presence both within their programs and as members of the campus
community, and a strong voice in the administrative processes pertinent to the delivery of
graduate education. Graduate faculty participate extensively in the governance of graduate
education through a central administrative office for graduate studies and committees
functioning within the collegiate academic units.

With graduate students now comprising 15% of the student body, UMD enjoys the ongoing
integration of faculty and student research through graduate programs across the campus,
while continuing our commitment to the collaborative intellectual environment enabled by our
low student-to-faculty ratios. Coordination with other campuses of University of Minnesota
and beyond benefits from the expansion of state-of-the-art interactive video conferencing
systems to reach, serve and collaborate with students at a distance. And overall, the ongoing
investment in Graduate Education promotes greater productivity in the areas of teaching and
research, while preparing students to assume leadership positions in academia, industry and
public service, raising the profile of UMD for research and innovation wherever they go.

Proposed Goals for UMD to Achieve in the Next Three-Five Years Related to this Topic

  1. UMD will be recognized as a Primary Center for Graduate Study in the Upper Midwest.

Proposed Action Steps for UMD to Achieve in the Next One-Two Years Related to this Topic

Goal #1: UMD will be recognized as a Primary Center for Graduate Study in the Upper Midwest.

  1. Increase the number of graduate students and graduate programs
    • Support the development of new professional doctorate and “all-university” doctoral programs, and participation by UMD faculty in Ph.D. programs in corresponding UMTC departments.
    • Encourage and provide resources for the development of disciplinary and interdisciplinary Masters Programs with the goal of allowing all UMD faculty the for our geographical region.
    • Undertake a detailed study of the financial aspects and accreditation issues associated with the initiation of selected stand-alone Ph.D. programs at UMD.
  2. Establish an expanded Office of Graduate Education
    • Set aside funds for graduate student recruitment.
    • Formalize a UMD policy of DGS time and salary compensation
    • Secure resources to increase the number and competitiveness of graduate assistantships and fellowships.
    • Provide a one-stop shop for graduate student issues.
  3. Implement needed steps to improve the Graduate Student experience
    • Identify space for a graduate student common area
    • Support the formation of a UMD Graduate Student Association
    • Establish UMD wide awards for graduate student teaching and research accomplishments.
    • Develop a feasibility plan for the creation of on-campus or nearby graduate student housing.
    • Provide opportunities for professional development for graduate students


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