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By Kerry-Ann Hamilton
University News
September 27, 2010

Board Lauds Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal
Addison Barry Rand

Academic renewal was the focus of the Board of Trustees’ annual fall meeting, Sept. 23-25. Board Chairman Addison Barry Rand commended members of the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal (PCAR) their tireless work over the last academic year to evaluate and access the curricular and programmatic offerings to ensure a viable academic future.

“The Board shares your commitment,” said Rand, Board member since 2001. “Our raison d'être is to ensure that this University continues to thrive. To the faculty, you have helped the University immensely; I would like you to understand that we understand.”

The challenge for Howard is not unique, as schools should always systematically examine and recommit to best practices in teaching and learning. But they must also be relevant and produce globally competitive graduates. This requires tough questions and a delicate balance,” Rand added.

“Here is the caveat, how do we still appreciate, honor and understand our legacy? How do we make sure that the Howard experience is still the Howard experience?” Rand asked during the Board dinner held in the Howard University Gallery of Art.

The Board acknowledged Dr. Alvin Thornton for his sterling leadership as Interim Provost and Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal.

President Sidney A. Ribeau also thanked Dr. Alvin Thornton and the commissioners for answering the call to serve on the commission. He added, “We strive for relevancy of the future combined with the Howard experience.”

 “Very few universities have been able to transform themselves,” Ribeau said. “The entire commission demonstrated their commitment to Howard and had the courage to do that which is difficult. So thank you for doing that.”

President Ribeau recently shared recommendations with the University community. The Provost and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences will meet with departments to discuss changes and enhancements to academic programs through the end of the fall semester. The next phase of academic renewal will begin Spring 2011.

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