U.R. BRONCO: Undergraduate Research - Building a Research Opportunity and Networking Community
The UR BRONCO Action Plan was written by a team of Cal Poly Pomona faculty who participated in the Fall 2008 California State University Workshop on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research, sponsored by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Washington D.C. based Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).
The original UR BRONCO Workshop Team consisted of: Dr. Bonny Burns-Whitmore, Dr. Winny Dong, Dr. Frank Ewers, Dr. Don Hoyt, Dr. Jeff Marshall, Dr. Eddy Ng, and Dr. Karen Russikoff.
Following the workshop, the UR BRONCO Working Group was formed with faculty representatives from all eight of the Cal Poly Pomona Colleges.
The mission of the U.R. BRONCO initiative at Cal Poly Pomona is to advance knowledge and engage students in life-long learning and exploration through discipline-appropriate faculty-mentored professional experience.
Note: In the following action plan, the term “Undergraduate Research” should be viewed in a broad sense, that includes a spectrum of faculty-mentored scholarly and creative activities that will vary across disciplines, but all of which will enhance student learning and make students better prepared to be scientists, professionals, scholars, artists and citizens. These may include one-on-one faculty mentored scholarly activities, extra-curricular programs and professional experiences, as well as classroom, laboratory, and field activities that are embedded within the course curriculum.
I. Short term (within a year). Develop a detailed strategic plan to institutionalize undergraduate research at Cal Poly Pomona.
- The UR BRONCO Team will seek and confirm buy-in from the Provost, Deans, and various other stakeholders. This will start with a meeting with the Provost as soon as possible. One measure of Provost buy-in is to appoint a faculty member who will direct this initiative within the ORSP for UG research. This director position would require 4-WTU’s per quarter during the academic year).
- Effective immediately, if it isn’t already, undergraduate research should be one of the cornerstones of the Capital Campaign.
- The UR BRONCO Team will identify key faculty and directors to form the larger UR BRONCO Working Group. This is underway but it should be expanded further to include at least two faculty from every college.
- UR BRONCO Working Group will develop strategic plans for implementation at the college and department levels. Each college and department will likely have quite different ways to meet the goals and objectives.
- The UR BRONCO Team will work with UR BRONCO Working Group to establish benchmarks and performance measures for the UR-BRONCO initiative.
- We will identify “champions” and best practices across the university, to fully assess the current state of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities on our campus. Existing programs and course activities will serve as a platform for this university- wide initiative. Each member of the UR BRONCO Team will design a strategic plan for his/her department. The implementation of these strategic plans will serve as a model for other departments.
- The UR BRONCO Team will begin developing a Web Site hosted by ORSP to promote the UR-BRONCO initiative and to post related material to encourage further discussion and interest.
- The UR BRONCO Team will meet with the Academic Senate Executive Committee to initiate a Senate Resolution supporting the UR-BRONCO initiative.
- The comprehensive plan will be communicated to the entire university community at the Fall Conference (2009).
II. Medium term (within two to three years). Take concrete actions to create a campus-wide culture in support of undergraduate research.
- UR BRONCO Working Group will work with academic units and administrators to modify policies with regard to recognizing and compensating faculty for their contributions to undergraduate research.
- Where possible, UR BRONCO Working Group will work with departments to revise RTP criteria to incorporate undergraduate research as a part of the teaching and scholarly expectations of faculty.
- UR BRONCO Working Group will work with departments to ensure that mentoring of undergraduates in research is rewarded in terms of supervisory units (at least 0.33 WTUs per student when possible).
- UR BRONCO Working Group will work with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to identify and seek funding opportunities to further support undergraduate research initiatives. Special focus will be placed on University-wide opportunities, including colleges and departments that currently do not have high profile undergraduate research programs.
- UR BRONCO Working Group will develop means of communication and celebration of undergraduate research at Cal Poly Pomona (targeting both on and off-campus communities).
- Organize an annual university-wide undergraduate research symposium/ “Research and Scholarly Activity Day” that will highlight all of the campus undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activities. (There is one currently, but UR BRONCO Working Group will recommend actions to greatly increase participation from across campus, to turn it into a major annual campus event).
- Further develop the UR-BRONCO webpage to continuously advertize and communicate the undergraduate research opportunities and activities that are occurring across campus.
- The Faculty Center for Professional Development will sponsor workshops, brownbag talks, and reading circles to help faculty fully incorporate undergraduate research into their pedagogy.
III. Long-term (when possible starting immediately and in each case extending to perpetuity). Sustaining Undergraduate Research at Cal Poly Pomona.
- Continuously identify new funding sources to support undergraduate research.
- Assessment: Monitor performance measures of students who participate in all of the undergraduate research programs with continuous quality improvement and dissemination efforts where appropriate.
- Celebrate the successes of our students. Let parents, alumni and other stakeholders become aware of the great things our students are doing as a result of our undergraduate research programs. In the long term this will help enormously with fund-raising and future interest in support of our programs.
- Attain and maintain student advocacy for undergraduate research. Achieve buy-in from the ASI. Our students will become the greatest advocates of our programs.
- Athrough E will improve the recruitment and retention of high quality students and faculty in a positive feedback loop, which will further increase the prestige of Cal Poly and make us the envy of all the other CSU’s.