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Northwestern University

Proposal Consideration Process (Winter 2016)

View the Spring 2016 Updates for current information on the Task Force recommendations.

The number and breadth of proposals in the Task Force report calls for institutional dialogue in a variety of settings. As part of this process, each school's dean and the Faculty Senate have been asked to engage faculty on one of the Task Force's most ambitious recommendations — modifying the academic calendar — to provide feedback to the Office of the Provost by the beginning of spring quarter 2016. In addition to this, student input is being sought as the community explores this innovative proposal, identifying opportunities and concerns that would need to be addressed should we move forward. The initial discussions regarding the proposed calendar change have raised a number of questions regarding both the specific process for considering this proposal and the proposal itself.  A brief Calendar Proposal FAQs has therefore been developed to answer several of the consistent questions.

The other Task Force recommendations are wide-ranging, and each warrants individual consideration. Some proposals stand out as already underway or ready for an existing working group to develop. Examples include the creation of a personalized advising site to coordinate advising interactions and the recommendations on learning outcomes and assessment. Other recommendations, including the calendar change, will require examination and study to determine whether we will move forward, as well as detailed implementation planning and coordination with complementary proposals should we proceed. Finally, some recommendations may have longer timelines — or may not move to formal implementation — as we balance the benefits of adopting various recommendations with the demands of ongoing projects and activities.

The faculty Task Force final report provided an excellent starting point. Now, with input of students, faculty, and staff, we collectively begin the work to translate these ideas into concrete actions plans, and, ultimately, into changes that enhance the undergraduate academic experience.

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