AOSS Shared Vision

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Development of AOSS Shared Vision (2007)


This is a site to support the development of a strategy for the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences (AOSS). A strategy for the department was developed in 2003. Since that time there has been both an internal and external review. Many of the ideas in the original strategy have been implemented. These documents are linked belowed in the Archive of AOSS Strategy Documents.

Tamas Gombosi has formed a committee of five. R. Rood, L. Fisk, M. Combi, J. Penner, and T. Gombosi are the members, with Rood as chair. Here is the document that Rood presented at the AOSS Faculty Meeting in September of 2007, which describes the charter, some starting ideas, and some comments. September 2007 Faculty meeting Presentation by Rood

The strategic plan will support the vision of the department. The vision from the 2003 document focused on revitalization of the department 2003 Vision. With many of the goals of that vision realized, the next version needs to build off of those successes. Here is set of high level goals and proposed vision as posed by Gombosi. 2007 Proposed Vision and Goals (Gombosi)

A strategic plan has the following functions: The strategy will address actions that require any or all of the following:

  • combination or coordination of resources and where departmental investments should be made.
  • consideration of time scales that are longer than the life of particular projects and tasks
  • development of coordinated capabilities to improve competitiveness
  • investment of resources prior to a specific requirement for a particular activity

The strategy should be anticipatory and help to assure that expenditures and investments are balanced in a way to make us competitive in a changing, interconnected environment.

A strategy is the interface between the internal elements of the department and the external environment. The internal elements of the department address research, education, and service. The externalities that are most important to the department are the ones that address funding. Traditionally, research funding has been dominated by the federal science budget. Hence, the strategies of the federal government and the federal agencies are of primary concern to AOSS.

Internal Factors (This is a page for listing and discussing internal factors, especially those that are distinguishing.)

Externalities (This is a page for listing and discussing externalities.)

A primary vehicle that AOSS has for implementing a strategy and positioning the department for success is hiring. As noted in previous strategy documents, the department can anticipate both retirements and additional positions. Choosing new faculty to meet strategic needs is critical. This includes both tenure track and research faculty. A secondary vehicle for positioning the department is with partnerships. Therefore, consideration of potential partnerships needs to part of the strategies for hiring and departmental investments.

With the above as background, here is an outline on how to proceed.

  1. Develop an inventory of the current state of the department, especially in terms of the initiatives that came from the 2003 Shared Vision. (This is an analysis of the Internalities.)
    1. Strengths and Successes
    2. Weaknesses and Issues to be Addressed
    3. Connectivity
      1. Within College
      2. Within University
      3. External Community
    4. What has happened outside of the scope of 2003 Shared Vision
      1. Positive
      2. Negative
  2. Analysis of the External Factors. This includes prioritization of those opportunities and risks to which we should be most attuned.
  3. Revision of Departmental Vision
  4. Elements of a Strategic Plan to Pursue the Departmental Vision
  5. New Faculty and Partnerships
  6. Alignment of Departmental Policy and Procedures to support Strategic Plan and Vision

(Note: During the 2005-2006 hiring there was significant discussion about policy and procedures in the department. S. Atreya proposed a list of policy changes. These should perhaps be re-visited.)

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University Cluster Hires (Winter 2008)

The University has announced a plan to hire 100 new faculty members. Here is a story about it. The basic guidelines is that these hires will be made in clusters about a particular subject area. They will be required to include multiple departments. The clusters will be proposed and selected through a deliberative process of some sort.

This is an opportunity, whose time scale is in conflict with the full development of the AOSS Shared Vision. Therefore, it is necessary to develop some strategies for the cluster hires on a short time scale.

Cluster Hires Winter 2008

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Development of 2007-2008 Shared Vision

In order to collect some of the comments in one place. (Useful to me) I have started a number of pages that hold our comments.


Draft Documents

AOSS Strategic Plan

AOSS Strategic Plan


Len Fisk Comments

Mike Combi Comments

Rood Comments


Rood's Organizing Figures

Archive of AOSS Strategy Documents

Here is a set of official AOSS Documents as of late 2005.

AOSS Shared Vision (March, 2003)

External Review of AOSS (November 2005)

Internal Review of AOSS (2005)

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Here is a set of documents generated since 2005. Many were generated in support of hiring in 2005-2006.

  • This is a strategy document put together by Tamas from the two documents below. There is significantly more that in either of the two original documents. There is good material for starting a departmental strategy. Tamas Gombosi compiled strategic document (March 2006)

Here is a set of documents which were distributed by individuals to the faculty and/or students. These documents have some interesting ideas that are relevant to the culture of our department and the challenges that we face.

  • This is a document by Paul Drake. It discusses research and science as the foundation for greatness at a university and the relationship of research to the business metrics of the College of Engineering. Drake document on Greatness and Research (May 2007)

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Here are a couple of figures

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