This week's deadlines and an update

To Our Faculty, Staff and Students:

The start of this new semester also begins several months of intense activity around our new strategic planning effort, Think Big. In addition to the Thinkers group members and seed sprint recipients selected through application processes, Think Big also will include multiple opportunities for the entire campus community to engage.

Many of you already have participated by recommending potential Thinkers and resources, submitting seed sprint applications and questions, and attending meet-up sessions last week.

This email provides reminders about this week’s deadlines and meet-ups and our online discussion site, as well as information about the Thinker selection process.


Thinker Nominations: We have received several dozen nominations of faculty and staff whose colleagues believe they possess the qualities and skills to contribute significantly to the group. The final deadline for these submissions is 5 p.m. today (Monday, Jan. 14); while nominees are notified and encouraged to apply, neither the nominators nor the content of the nominations are shared with them. Access the Thinker Nomination form.

Thinker Applications: These are due at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan 16View the Thinker Application form.

Seed Sprint Applications: These proposals fall into three categories: academic, co-curricular, or administrative/operational. The deadline for submitting these is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18Get seed sprint details.

Meet-Ups and Workplace for Good

Below is the schedule for the remaining six meet-ups:

  • Jan. 14: Noon, Interactive Commons; 5 p.m., Sears think[box] 2nd floor
  • Jan. 15: Noon, Kelvin Smith Library–Freedman Center; 5 p.m., Sears think[box] 2nd floor
  • Jan. 16: Noon, Sears think[box] 2nd floor; 5 p.m., Kelvin Smith Library–Freedman Center

In addition, members of the campus community can connect with one another online at Workplace for Good. You can log in to the site now, or, for more information about the site and how to use it, visit the Think Big website.

Thinker Selection

The first stage of this process involves review of all applications by members of President’s Council, which includes the university’s senior leadership, the dean of each school, vice presidents, and the Faculty Senate chair and chair-elect. The presidents of the Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Council also will review all applications.

Reviewers will not see the names and affiliations of the applicants, instead rating submissions on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being best) based solely on written responses.

Provost Ben Vinson III then will review the 25 highest-ranked submissions, including names and affiliations. He will select roughly 8 to 10 Thinkers with diversity—in all of its many forms—as a key factor in his choices. The goal is to announce the selections by Wednesday, Jan. 23, with members’ first meeting taking place within a week.

As always, if you have questions or comments about any aspect of Think Big, you can submit them online.