The first strategic goal of The Plan for Bucknell, Strengthen the Academic Core, calls on the University community to offer an academic program that achieves the highest standard of quality across its liberal arts and professional programs and to support innovation and distinctiveness in areas of current and emerging importance and relevance. In working to fulfill this goal, the University has:
In recent years Bucknell added 61 tenure-track faculty: 37 new positions, another 12 for curricular reasons and 12 visiting appointments converted to tenure-track positions. This move increased the breadth of faculty expertise on campus. It also helped the University move its faculty to a five-course teaching load and reduce the student-faculty ratio from 12:1 to 9:1, setting the stage for deeper student-faculty interaction and allowing professors to spend time outside of the classroom doing research and creative projects and improving their teaching.
From fostering social science research and public policy discussion to supporting teaching methods and practices, Bucknell's academic centers and institutes serve as in-depth resources for faculty, staff and students. These new programs have been created or enhanced since The Plan for Bucknell was initiated:
In 2010, the College of Arts and Sciences launched a new curriculum to help students understand the synergistic and complementary relationship among academic disciplines and to prepare students to apply the skills, knowledge and sense of responsibility they have gained to new settings and complex problems. New majors in Arts and Sciences include applied mathematical sciences; six new concentrations in education; environmental science; interdisciplinary studies in economics and mathematics; Italian studies; and linguistics.
Part of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Management became the School of Management, adding faculty and revising its curriculum to offer four new majors: accounting and financial management, global management, managing for sustainability, and markets, innovation and design.
Since the implementation of The Plan for Bucknell, the College of Engineering has added three new bachelor of science programs: computer engineering, environmental engineering, and a combined five-year program that pairs a bachelor of science in any engineering degree program with a bachelor of management for engineers.
These curricula stay true to Bucknell's liberal arts foundation, focusing on intellectual exploration, critical thinking, creativity, innovation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives.
Bucknell is moving forward with plans for new buildings to support excellence in learning. The first of these facilities, Academic West, opened in fall 2013 and anchors a new academic quad behind the Bertrand Library. Home to the social sciences at Bucknell, the 70,000-square-foot facility includes classrooms, faculty offices, hearth space, meeting areas and spaces for the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy and the Field Research Teaching Lab, || Related links: Academic West opens its doors
Next up for construction is Academic East, a 78,000-square-foot structure that will face Academic West. This facility will increase space for engineering and science education and research, particularly in health-related fields.
A proposed expansion to Taylor Hall would nearly double the School of Management's current capacity, adding classrooms, faculty offices, meeting space and state-of-the-art technology.