Recent Strides in Strengthening the Academic Core
The first strategic goal of The Plan for Bucknell, Strengthen the Academic Core, calls on the University community to offer "an academic program that achieves the highest standard of quality across its liberal arts and professional programs" and to "support innovation and distinctiveness in areas of current and emerging importance and relevance." In working to fulfill this goal, the University has:
Reduced the teaching load and added faculty
Bucknell added 37 tenure-line faculty members over a five-year period. This move increased the breadth of faculty expertise on campus. It also helped the University move its faculty to a five-course teaching load and reduce the student-faculty ratio from 12:1 to 10:1, setting the stage for deeper student-faculty interaction and allowing professors to spend time outside of the classroom doing research and creative projects and improving their teaching.
Created new academic centers and institutes
From fostering social science research and public policy discussion, to supporting teaching methods and practices, Bucknell's academic centers and institutes serve as in-depth resources for faculty, staff and students alike. These new programs have been created or enhanced since The Plan for Bucknell was initiated:
- Bucknell Environmental Center
- Bucknell Institute for Public Policy
- Film/Media Production Clinic
- Griot Institute for Africana Studies
- Teaching and Learning Center
Implemented new curricula
In 2010, the College of Arts and Sciences launched a new curriculum to help students understand the synergistic and complementary relationship among academic disciplines and to prepare students to apply the skills, knowledge and sense of responsibility they have gained to new settings and complex problems. Part of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Management became the School of Management, adding faculty and revising its curriculum to offer four new majors.
These curricula stay true to Bucknell's liberal arts foundation, focusing on intellectual exploration, critical thinking, creativity, innovation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives.
Begun to construct new academic facilities
Bucknell is moving forward with plans for new buildings that will support excellence in learning. The first of these facilities is Academic West, which will be home to social science departments and interdisciplinary centers. The project will expand the physical dimensions of campus, adding 70,000 square feet of academic space. In fall 2011, the Board of Trustees approved the construction of Academic West, which is expected to be complete by 2013. || Related links: Academic West infrastructure groundbreaking held, Campus Master Plan, An Academic West milestone