ON THE FUTURE OF TCU
TCU launched The Commission on the Future of TCU in 1999 to chart a plan for the University’s move to a higher level of distinction in American education. The work of the Commission was carried out by 17 strategic task forces that involved 454 alumni, friends, and community, corporate and University leaders. The Commission, which concluded its work in 2000, generated 386 recommendations. By January 2004, approximately 70 percent of the recommendations have been achieved or are proceeding, with planning in an advanced stage and a deadline for completion established.
This progress report, requested by Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr., was prepared by Provost-elect R. Nowell Donovan. Dr. Donovan serves as co-chair of Vision in Action: Planning TCU’s Future, the present strategic planning initiative. The Commission progress report will serve as a foundation for Vision in Action. The following information is a summary of the complete report, which can be found at www.via.tcu.edu or in hard-copy format at the Mary Couts Burnett Library.
EVALUATION OF PROGRESS
The response of the University community to the recommendations of The Commission on the Future of TCU was coordinated through then-Chancellor Michael R. Ferrari’s office, and began immediately after the Commission concluded its work. Chancellor Ferrari consolidated the recommendations for specific actions into four distinct areas: facilities, education, athletics and community.
Evaluation of the recommendations is color-coded. The following percentages are based upon the total of 386 recommendations:
In the summary below, the numbers refer to the consolidated recommendations listed by area.
FACILITIES 1. The Trustees authorized a universitywide plan to spend up to $30 million for such improvements over two to three years for:
a. Upgrading and improving current teaching and research facilities, specifically the classrooms, science laboratories and studios across the university
b. Replacing and upgrading equipment and technology used in instruction and research to benefit the learning process
In many respects, the “reshoring project” is the most important achievement that has arisen from the Commission; it has provided a shared teaching facility of considerable quality that encourages faculty to practice their art at a new level.
FACILITIES 2. Expanding campus parking facilities on both the east and west campuses
FACILITIES 3. Renovating and expanding the Student Recreation Center
FACILITIES 4. Renovating and refurbishing Waits and Milton-Daniel residence halls
FACILITIES 5. Expanding the teaching and research facilities for the MBA program in the M. J. Neeley School of Business, focused on the James Ryffel Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the construction of the Steve and Sarah Smith Entrepreneurs Hall
FACILITIES 6. Renovation and expansion of the Brown-Lupton Student Center following the completion of the University Recreation Center project
EDUCATION 1. Enhancing the undergraduate experience, with specific emphasis on:
a. Revitalizing the core curriculum
b. Expanding internships
c. Service learning and student leadership opportunities
d. Strengthening the Honors Program
e. Increasing interdisciplinary programs across the curriculum
EDUCATION 2. Examining and strengthening the presence, visibility and support of graduate education, with specific emphasis on:
a. Examining our current offerings
b. Increasing our competitiveness to attract and retain top students
c. Assessing opportunities for new graduate degrees and research institutes
d. Providing funding vital to building highly respected graduate programs
EDUCATION 3. Increasing steadily the academic profile and diversity of our student body, with specific emphasis on:
a. Increased undergraduate scholarship support and student financial aid
b. Increased graduate student support
EDUCATION 4. Targeting and enhancing current distinctive programs with special emphasis on:
b. Piano and orchestral studies in the School of Music
c. The health professions, especially pre-medicine
d. International and global education, with even stronger alliances with universities in Mexico, and Latin America
EDUCATION 5. Targeting and enhancing current academic programs that have the capability of achieving regional, national and international distinction in areas such as:
a. Art history
c. Science and technology education
f. Journalism and Radio-TV-Film
EDUCATION 6. Assessing the feasibility of new graduate and professional degree programs, especially in:
EDUCATION 7. Planning for the renovation or new construction of facilities to support our mission and aspirations, with these top priorities:
a. The expansion of Mary Couts Burnett Library
b. Ed Landreth Hall and auditorium
c. College of Fine Arts
d. School of Education
e. Communication studies
f. A multipurpose learning facility that can benefit our entire campus, especially the humanities and social sciences
g. New residence halls
h. Academic facility enhancements to Brite Divinity School
i. A multipurpose athletic facility
EDUCATION 8. Strengthening our commitment to building a technology-rich learning environment at TCU, with specific emphasis on assisting faculty in the creative uses of technology in teaching and learning
ATHLETICS 1. Continuing to support a high quality and nationally respected Division I athletics program that complements our academic goals and captures our institutional integrity and vitality.
COMMUNITY 1. Initiating high visibility programs that connect the distinctive needs and attributes of Fort Worth with the distinctive qualities and capacities of TCU, especially in:
a. Our involvement in municipal projects and working more closely with local governments and school districts
b. Developing a distinguished speaker series
c. Establishing an Office of Community Relations to coordinate a wide range of University and community initiatives
d. Providing increased support for faculty and staff development, recognizing that the dedication, competencies and accomplishments of our human capital will largely determine the future reputation and pace of progress at TCU.
To accomplish the recommendations of The Commission on the Future of TCU, the University has initiated a multiyear fund-raising effort, which began in June 2000. Thus far, more than $110 million has been raised. This multiyear effort will be complemented with the university’s new strategic planning initiative, Vision In Action:Planning TCU’s Future, which will build on The Commission on the Future and fine tune fundraising efforts.
FORMAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF TCU
BACKGROUND COMMITTEES were organized to gather essential background information prior to the kickoff of the Commission’s formal work:
STRATEGIC TASK FORCES were charged to look into universitywide issues:
COLLEGE AND SCHOOL TASK FORCES were designed to concentrate on specific administrative units of the University: