Welcome to Fall!

October 11, 2019

By Richard Hughey, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education 

This will be (another) exciting year for the Division of Undergraduate Education!

Topping my list, of course, is our new campus leadership. Chancellor Cindy Larive is clear in her focus on the UC 2030 goals, four-year graduation rates, and reducing gaps. I encourage everyone to review her communications, as well as the UCOP 2030 Dashboard, and the many other interesting dashboards available. My own boss has changed also, and I’m equally excited to be working with iCP/EVC Lori Kletzer on both our many projects and the campus’ many projects. While Cindy and Lori have only been working as a team for a few months, it is evident that they are in sync with each other and have a focus on getting things done.

Speaking of getting things done, there are so many things that are in process all around the division I thought it would be good to share a few highlights. The Colleges are moving into their second year of the joint Academic Literacy Curriculum, building on the positive outcomes from last year in this cross-college revision of the Core Courses. The Colleges are on Cindy’s mind as she works to help us all move the campus forward.

The Office of Advising Coordination has welcomed back to UE its new Programs Advising Coordinator, and gained funding for an advisor equity increase and additional relief advisors. These are fantastic accomplishments, as is the campus and leadership commitment to advising that these investments represent. In the coming year, there will be enhanced training programs and a new campus-wide academic advising council.

The entire Educational Partnership Center has been developing a strategic plan to even further increase the effectiveness and reach of programs building college-bound communities throughout our multi-county region. I was delighted to catch “elevator pitches” for the 5 focus areas, infrastructure (including the inspiring EPC staff, funding, and systems); communication and engagement; program services; research, evaluation, and innovation.

Summer Session just completed its third summer of 15-20% growth, through incoming student programs and development of an ever-increasing portfolio of online courses (in collaboration with Online Education). 86% of fall 2012 frosh who enrolled in a summer session course graduated in 6 years or fewer, while only 65% of the remaining students did so. This may not be causal, but none-the-less, Summer, Campus Advising Coordination, Financial Aid and Scholarships, and others will be working to develop a second-year Summer Session program focused on progress toward major declaration.

The Office of the Registrar, working with just about every person on campus associated with academics, has published a new catalog! There are a few more features and revisions for the next version, but this represents completion of the first phase of the Curriculum Management Project. Phase Two, already beginning to launch, is replacing the (very) aging CCLP system used by departments to plan classes, and Phase Three is to replace our degree audit system.

Speaking of everyone who has anything to do with academics, of course, Campus Orientations touched everyone who works with undergraduates to develop the new summer orientation program, with online material and direct and active mentorship. The change went very well, with new resources for major selection, smoother enrollment, and much fewer records issues. I’m looking forward to the launch of optional in-person programs this year, as I miss chatting with parents, supporters, and enthusiastic orientation leaders all in orange.

Also within Enrollment Management, Undergraduate Admissions transformed processes, outreach, and also their offices. Transfer students were cleared in record-breaking time through an amazing amount of process redesign and teamwork. New approached led to far fewer cancellations, and our incoming class has students from many different counties, states, and countries.

Many of these students were provided access by Financial Aid and Scholarships to more than $600 million, though fortunately for the aid budget, not all students decided to join our entering class. In the coming year, the office will be working to grow work study positions and opportunities with the Career Center, and collaborating with Summer to help ensure access to the new second-year program.

Finally, the divisional office has been working closely with each of our units to advance divisional priorities in support of campus goals. The team is working collaboratively on the implementation of our new payroll system, UCPath, has launched a divisional business officers group (BOG), and is assisting many units with the several new positions funded by the recent resource call. In addition, the academic HR office successfully completed another round of faculty appointments for College 1 and other appointments in support of crucial academic programs in our division as well as the Divisions of Student Success and Global Engagement.

Overall, and exciting way to start the year!