May 18, 2007
A new Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work Committee report has identified five broad thematic areas of strength and promise at the U of S.
The list includes Culture and Society, Indigenous Peoples, Frontiers of Science and Technology, Human and Animal Health, and Environment, Resources, and Sustainability. The areas of “strength and emerging strength” are broad and interdisciplinary because the public now looks to universities to address complex social issues, said Karen Chad, associate vice-president of research.
These issues mean that links between colleges and departments are essential. “Our objective wasn’t to have a document that said, ‘This department is doing this, this department is doing this.’ It rather was to show the synergies, as opposed to individual units,” said Chad.
The document, titled “Extending Horizons: University of Saskatchewan Research, Scholarly and Artistic Landscape,” was mandated by the Research, Scholarly, and Artistic Work Foundational Document. The report gives the University a “unique opportunity to describe its research, scholarly, and artistic work landscape,” Chad said.
“This is the environment, and these are the kinds of people who work in this environment, and these are the kinds of discoveries that are being made.”
Compiling the report has taken about 18 months and involved a request for submissions from units across campus. More than 250 were received, and an advisory committee was set up to review them. The committee searched for similarities between submissions and developed themes to “weave” each group together.
The report was presented to Council on April 19.
Many people have already responded to Extending Horizons, saying the document can be used to recruit faculty. Chad added, “other faculty members have said that it’s provided their unit with an opportunity … for them to start to identify their strengths and what their emerging strengths will be.”
The document can be viewed at the U of S Research web site. The report has also been used to produce a brochure to be distributed at Congress.
Chad said the next phase of the process may be much more focused, and could include an examination of whether indicators should be developed to draw out specific areas of preeminence.
Excerpt from Extending Horizons: University of Saskatchewan Research, Scholarly and Artistic Landscape
“Since the University’s inception 100 years ago, the process of growth and renewal has been rooted in the very landscape in which we live, the communities we serve, and the strong sense of place that the people of Saskatchewan have for their province. The University of Saskatchewan recognizes the important connection between quality academic programs, strong teacher-scholar models, and internationally recognized research, scholarly and artistic activities. Our continued relevance to the community and our success nationally and internationally will be based on how clearly we identify our areas of strength and promise, how proudly we champion them, and how well we develop the infrastructures needed to support them.”