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Science Strategy

Message from Interim Provost David Kotz

May 18, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, at the end of 2015 Provost Carolyn Dever initiated a science strategy review process under the oversight of a Planning Committee consisting of the deans of the Faculties of Arts & Sciences, Geisel, and Thayer, along with the Dean of the School of Graduate & Advanced Studies and the Senior Vice Provost for Research. The goal was to develop a strategic framework to guide future investments in science across Dartmouth. At the end of 2016, a Working Group of faculty drawn from across the sciences presented a report that summarized the state of scientific research and education at Dartmouth, and made a series of specific recommendations.

The report uses the term "science" broadly, encompassing all the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – spanning all of Dartmouth's schools, and their component departments and programs, wherever such inquiry occurs. The report identified strengths and opportunities across campus. At the same time, the report highlighted weaknesses and areas of urgent need. Without specifically ranking competing needs, it suggested principles that could be used to inform such choices as they arise. It arrived at an opportune moment, just as Dartmouth College was preparing for the largest program of institutional investment in its history and after faculty-cluster and strategic-priorities proposals had been received. Many of the principles, observations, and challenges outlined by the report are reflected in our current plans for campus-wide investments in the sciences. In parallel, Dartmouth's leadership has been working over the past year to improve the support for and recognition of faculty scholarship across all disciplines.

The original charge from Provost Dever and the Executive Summary of the report are available online. Members of the Dartmouth community can access the full report, with the exception of the appendices, which include data that cannot be shared publicly due to confidentiality considerations and the terms of our subscription license. The website also includes a summary of the progress over the past year as prepared by Dean Madden, Vice Provost for Research. Despite significant progress, we still face much of the hard work of implementation and the challenge of sustainability. On behalf of the College, I thank all the members of the Planning Committee and the Working Group for their hard work and thoughtful suggestions, which have provided a strong framework for improving support of our teaching and scholarship in all areas of STEM on campus.

Best regards,

David Kotz
Interim Provost
Champion International Professor, Department of Computer Science