Report to the President

A Change in Culture and Philosophy: One BU

We should adopt a new, inclusive, integrated, and interconnected view of Boston University and its academic mission: a culture and philosophy of One BU. The aim is to cultivate

  • constructive debate and creative intellectual engagement at all levels;
  • cooperative work across departments, Colleges and Schools, and administrative boundaries in order to eliminate disconnected pockets of activity and bureaucratic barriers to broad interdisciplinary study and research by students and faculty;
  • transparent decision making that is predicated on access to information, open consultation, communication, and objective measures of performance; and
  • accountability, implemented through open discussion, solicited feedback, external assessments, systematic evaluations of performance, and deliberative processes, administrative structures, and information systems that lend themselves to self-correction and improvement.

Boston University has made great progress in recent decades, but much work remains to be done. The greatest challenge is one of mobilizing all members of the University – students, faculty, staff, and alumni – to achieve One BU. Mobilizing for One BU will require connecting the disconnected parts of our University to leverage our individual expertise across our faculties, to share increasing levels of knowledge about the University, and to share in transparent decision making so as to become nimble, interactive, and receptive to new ideas. We must extend this connectivity outside of BU to our interactions with the community and the world.

Through this cultural change we can articulate a shared confidence in our potential, foster creative synergies between our best elements, and learn from objective external reviews of our performance. We should adopt a culture of continuous improvement whereby processes, programs, and organizational structures are evaluated regularly and held to high standards of effectiveness and efficiency. Through credible, systematic, realistic, and intelligent goal-setting and communication, we should create an institutional and intellectual culture that is connected, committed, and capable of achieving new levels of accomplishment. BU should become an intellectually integrated university where people work enthusiastically and effectively, supported by administrative processes and a well-designed information infrastructure that work in concert to propel the institution forward.