Dean’s Welcome

April 3, 2013

It has been a while since my last communication, and I wanted to update you all on the progress the Graduate School has made in the last few months. 

In November we were very fortunate to have two consultants from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) come to campus and evaluate graduate education on campus. The consultants met with the president, provost, academic deans, department chairs, graduate coordinators, Graduate Executive Committee members, office staff and graduate students. The consultants collected data from these stakeholders and wrote a report that was presented to me. In it, they suggested improvements for our programs and services.

As a result of this report we are: (a) working to streamline our office procedures to better meet the needs of students and faculty, (b) working to promote the excellent programs, experiences and faculty available at Bradley, (c) working to better recruit international and domestic graduate students to our programs, and (d) developing policies and procedures to help guide graduate students and faculty. In the fall semester, we hope to begin work on a five-year strategic plan to help us move forward into the future. You may be called on for input in this process.

In addition, please visit our new and improved website at http://www.bradley.edu/academic/gradschool/. We have added many new features and are hoping that current and potential students will find the navigation easier and the content more useful. Please let me know if you have any feedback. We are constantly modifying information to make it as useful as possible.

The Graduate School is also in the midst of a transition regarding applications. We are currently migrating to a fully automated system called SLATE. In SLATE, students will be able to submit all of their application materials online and will be able to see progress of submitted materials. .  In addition, the Graduate School will be able to prompt potential students (via email) for needed materials to complete their application so that we may process it. We hope that this new system will make our office even more responsive to potential students as they apply to graduate programs at Bradley.

In the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), it has been a very busy time regarding grants. Faculty members have been very active in trying to secure external funding. Forty grants have been submitted to federal and state agencies, businesses and foundations since January 1. In addition, OSP offered one grant writing workshop in February with another to be held in April, and for the first time a weeklong workshop will be held in May. We hope this support will lead to more faculty submitting grants and an increase in external funding to support faculty and students in creative research endeavors.

Again, I ask you to share your success stories and feedback. Is there something the Graduate School could do for current students or could have done for alumni to improve your graduate experience at Bradley? Please let me know. Please email me at jbakken@fsmail.bradley.edu. I’d also be happy to talk in person. I want current students and faculty to feel supported and any and all feedback that would help me do that is welcome.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bakken

Dean of the Graduate School and Sponsored Research