President Frenk to begin town hall series on roadmap initiatives

President Frenk peruses the first published Ibis Yearbook, which is featured in an archives exhibit during the Firsts at UM event Wednesday evening in the Newman Alumni Center. Hallee Meltzer // Photo Editor

President Julio Frenk will discuss the eight proposed initiatives of the Roadmap to Our New Century at the first of seven town hall meetings Thursday. The discussion will be held at 9 a.m. at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and is open to the entire university community.

Frenk will share the feedback he’s received on each of the initiatives and discuss the path toward implementing those proposals as he shifts his focus from drafting to implementation. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and give comments before the plans are sent to the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate for approval. At a roundtable meeting with student leaders last Wednesday, Frenk stressed the importance of participation in the process and urged students to attend the meeting.

“This is the last chance you have to weigh in,” Frenk said.

Through these roadmap initiatives, the university aims to establish UM as a hemispheric research institution, as well as create an inclusive environment that fosters learning. The 100 Talents, Culture of Belonging, Access to Excellence, Educational Innovation and Value-Based Integrated Health Care initiatives focus primarily on student life and education. The Problem-based Interdisciplinary Inquiry, STEM@UM, Hemispheric Innovation Hub and Hemispheric University Consortium initiatives are largely related to research and innovation.

According to Frenk, Thursday’s discussion will provide an “incredible amount of rich detail” about the initiatives, transforming the concepts into completed plans.

The following six town hall meetings will take place over the next eight days, concluding on Sept. 23. Locations will vary depending on the primary focus of the meetings: two general discussions of the Roadmap Initiatives will be held at the medical campus, and the remaining four will be held on the Coral Gables campus to highlight more specific issues including student life, education and research.

The drafting process began a year ago at Frenk’s first town hall meeting as the newly-appointed president, where he launched his “100 Days of Listening” campaign. During that discussion, Frenk emphasized the importance of maintaining a dialogue with everyone at UM.

To ensure the university accomplishes its goals by the 2025 centennial, Frenk introduced a roadmap with three kinds of listening at its core: immersive, intensive and iterative. During these 100 days, Frenk listened to the concerns and needs of the community. He then formed eight groups of appointed faculty, staff and students to draft each of the initiatives.

Over the summer, students and faculty received emailed drafts of the eight initiatives with an invitation to discuss, debate and offer feedback on the president’s website.

The UM community can submit feedback by using #UMRoadmap on social media, or at Town hall meetings are free and open to students, faculty and alumni.