The College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines held its annual fall retreat for faculty and staff on Monday, August 19th at the Gorecki Center. The retreat offered a chance for many staff and faculty to offer updates on their respective program areas. Over 80 faculty and staff participated in the daylong event.
The morning began with a statement from Provost Thomas M. DiLorenzo, who addressed the faculty and staff of the College and asked that they spend the day reflecting on several priorities for the upcoming year. Three specific issues were mentioned, including collaborative governance, faculty workloads, and ensuring that the mission and vision of the CNPD aligned with those of the University. Provost DiLorenzo placed extra emphasis on self-reflection, noting that healthcare providers are very good at offering assistance to others, but need to be encouraged to improve their own lives. "We owe it to UND & ourselves to evaluate and improve our own careers & self-progression."
Dean Light echoed the sentiment of Provost DiLorenzo by stating that the inclusion of all employees at the College is critical. To that end, Dean Light is encouraging more collaborative governance by faculty of each department. Dean Light also mentioned that it is important to maintain mental and physical wellness, and that finding and engaging in enjoyable activities outside of work has helped him to accomplish this for the last several years. He encouraged all faculty and staff to find their own way of self-reflection.
Although the College heard from multiple program and department areas, the time limit of the retreat prevented faculty and staff from hearing from every program area. Dean Light stressed that more opportunities would be available in the coming weeks and months for everyone in the College to exercise their voice and participate in moving the College in a new direction. Areas that offered updates included the undergraduate and graduate programs from Nursing, Social Work, and Nutrition & Dietetics. Operational updates were provided by the Research, Business, IT, Instructional Design, and Dean's Office's. Updates included practical information for staff and faculty to consider for the upcoming semesters, as well as announcements of births, weddings, and educational achievements of the College Employees. The daylong event had an upbeat and energetic vibe to it, as multiple persons commented on the palpable excitement of the staff and faculty.
For the second half of the retreat, faculty and staff from all three departments joined together in small groups to reflect where the College had come from, and where they wanted to see the College in the coming years. Each group was assigned a separate priority for the fall to consider. The priorities included (1) Revisiting and reaffirming our mission, values, and vision, (2) Reinvigorate relations within the College: Collaborative governance and teamwork, (3) Revitalize relations with external partners and stakeholders, (4) Rebalance teaching, research, service and clinical enterprise, and (5) Creating a road map for the future: Leadership, budget, funding, programs, initiatives, and services. Each group was asked to identify three big ideas for the priority they were assigned. Dean Light invited a representative from each group to speak to the College about one of their ideas or goals at the end of the retreat.