H&S Strategic Plan


The College of Humanities and Sciences, previously named the College of Arts and Sciences, first began discussing a strategic plan in 2010. A working group of faculty and administrators then drafted a plan in rough outline form in 2011 and it was refined in 2012. Many groups have provided input to the version presented here: The H&S Faculty Advisory Committee, The H&S Staff Advisory Committee, The College External Advisory Board, department chairs and program directors, and the larger faculty by way of discussions at College wide meetings. Our work was informed by the University of Montana comprehensive Strategic Plan (available at http://www.umt.edu/planningassessmentcontinuum/) and the campus Academic Strategic Plan (http://www.umt.edu/provost/ASP/default.aspx). Their structure has been used as a framework for the expression of our goals.

This document was submitted in February, 2013 – following unanimous votes by both the Faculty and Staff Advisory Committees to submit it to Academic Affairs in its present form. It is considered version 1.0 and will be revisited every year or two. In particular, we expect to add more metrics in the next review so that we can better measure our progress in achieving our goals.

H&S Strategic Plan PDF file

H&S Mission and Values


The College of Humanities and Sciences is the intellectual core of the University of Montana. We fulfill
the central purpose for which the University was chartered in 1893: To provide a liberal education and
integrated knowledge of the humanities and the sciences.

We Believe and Value:

  • The transformative power of education, in which knowledge and understanding is created through active learning, research and creative scholarship.
  • Intellectual and human diversity, so that respect for different points of view is encouraged and students, faculty, and staff realize their full potential.
  • Global perspective and engagement
  • A safe and respectful learning and workplace environment
  • A sustainable future for our local, state, and global communities.

Strategic Directions, Goals and Actions

These strategic directions are aligned with the UM strategic plan mentioned above. We expect to review
our directions and actions on at least a two-year cycle. Under each strategic direction, several goals are
listed, and under most goals there are proposed actions given as bulleted items. Metrics of success are
built into some goals. Examples of metrics are in parentheses below certain goals. For other goals,
metrics will be determined in AY 2013-2014.

Partnering for Student Success

Encourage tenure-track faculty to teach “across levels of the curriculum” (entry level undergraduate,
upper level undergraduate, graduate)

  • Create an award to recognize quality teaching across the curriculum
  • Build support for active learning, student research experiences, service learning, and field experiences
  • Centralize information on these options for students
  • Offer enrichment opportunities for TAs to ensure effectiveness in the classroom
  • Provide an orientation for all new Teaching Assistants
  • Create a vigorous H&S undergraduate-advising program
  • Hire additional professional advisors for targeted locations around H&S
  • Create a unified H&S advising team under Dr. Hoell’s leadership and in coordination with the campus central undergraduate advising center
  • Get all advising forms and key information on the H&S web site
  • Insure that all departments can view/print transcripts as needed
  • Provide undergraduates with the atmosphere and tools to succeed
  • Build identity for the college with alumni and friends through better communication and targeted events
  • Have a central web location for students to find/apply for scholarship

Education for the Global Century

Build support for study abroad

  • Raise the value of the H&S fund for student travel (to $500,000 within 3 years)

Change our name to College of Sciences and Humanities

  • Bring request to the faculty in AY 13-14 and if approved, file a request for campus and system approval as soon as possible

Assess our graduate programs with an eye to the future

  • Audit graduate teaching assignments made by the College every 2 years and adjust for maximum effectiveness
  • Where possible, increase the number of teaching assistantships

Discovery and Creativity to Serve Montana and the World

Encourage interdisciplinary research

  • Establish a Humanities (New Culture) Institute and identify lead donor(s) (at least 3 donors @ $50,000 or more)

Work with ORSP and Foundations to enhance research participation

  • Create an “office” to support social science research
  • Hire grant support specialists
  • Bring Chairs, Faculty & Staff onto the development team
  • Create support for travel and conference attendance

Recognize creative activities by faculty beyond traditional scholarship

  • Suggest models that departments can adopt in unit standards

Communicate our successes at research and creative work

Update H&S website and communicate with our Board more regularly

Increase the stipend level for teaching assistants to increase our competitiveness

  • Raise funds for enhancements to existing graduate fellowships ($3-5,000 enhancements to 15 fellows positions within 2 years)

Dynamic Learning Environment

Encourage interdisciplinary teaching

  • Articulate a model for evaluating faculty fairly when they engage in team teaching or work across two or more units
  • Preserve cross-listing of courses

Increase recognition and rewards for teaching excellence

  • Base-fund all essential adjunct instructors
  • Build a “soft merit” pool for teaching excellence by lecturers

Create a warm climate for intellectual and human diversity

  • Native American perspectives add to intellectual diversity
  • Explore cluster hires
  • Develop ways to retain faculty from underrepresented groups
  • Provide diversity orientation for hiring committees

Improve the workplace for students, staff and faculty

  • Keep a focus on building accessibility and environmental factors such as asbestos/lead

Integrate our IT operations at all levels

  • Spread info about the new Spectral Fusion model of support for pedagogy and research through workshops
  • Create functional working relationships among all IT staff within departments

Planning Assessment Continuum

Spread “best practices” on program assessment among H&S departments

  • Every department should maintain an assessment activities file
  • Every department should meet at least yearly to discuss assessment impacts on their curriculum and operations

Create transparency and fairness in college and departmental management

  • Develop an administrative handbook / policy manual

Create a “culture of philanthropy” across H&S units

  • Within 3 years, build a development office with a staff of 4

Last revised 7.7.2014