Continuum College Advisory Council Starts the Conversation

The 16-member council addresses pressing issues and opens a dialogue 

Continuum College has created its inaugural advisory council, and Vice Provost Rovy Branon says that its purpose is simple: to improve communication.

“We’re listening,” Branon said. “We’re gathering feedback from our partners, and we’re taking action on the basis of that feedback.”

The advisory council, which met twice this summer and will meet monthly during the academic year, comprises 16 directors, deans and program managers across a wide swath of Continuum College’s academic offerings. Its three key areas of focus are:

  • Improving the fee-based degree model
  • Tackling topical partnership issues like Summer Quarter
  • Brainstorming and implementing overall strategic direction

Viewing the Big Picture

As Continuum College has grown to encompass more than 110 fee-based degrees, so too has the importance of conveying its big picture to campus partners, Branon said.

“We have lots of conversations with our partners on a regular basis about specific programs within the portfolio,” Branon said, “but we have very few opportunities to talk about the whole portfolio.”

“It’s an opportunity to broaden the perspective and understand that making a decision in one place affects the rest of the portfolio,” said Sandra Janusch, Continuum College assistant vice provost.

Because Continuum College administers so many different programs, the advisory council gives partners a fuller picture of what’s happening outside their respective programs.

“It’s an opportunity to demystify what we do and how decisions are made,” Janusch said.

A Promising Start


Continuum College Vice Provost Rovy Branon addresses the newly formed advisory council during its third meeting.

Though the council has only met three times, Branon felt the initial meetings augured well for the council’s work going forward.

“I think our partners really welcomed having an opportunity to engage,” he said, “and I think they’re glad to be around the table.”

Mary Larson, the associate director of academic services for Human-Computer Interaction + Design, valued the initial summer meetings and is looking forward to what the advisory council can accomplish during the academic year.

“I hope we can get into some meaty discussions in upcoming meetings because there are interesting and conflicting goals present at the table,” Larson said, “yet there is also a spirit of open communication and problem-solving.”

For her part, Vicki Anderson-Ellis, the assistant dean of finance and administration in the School of Social Work, said she appreciated “the chance to interact with others, which helps to create mutual understandings of commonalities among programs as well as how to tackle issues that affect us all.”

Commitment to Communication

The formation of the advisory council represents just one aspect of Continuum College’s emphasis on good communication, which also includes the creation of a quarterly newsletter, quarterly workshops and a unified communications calendar.

By creating an advisory council, Branon believes that the advisory council will allow Continuum College and its campus partners to maintain two-way communications going forward.

“We now have a unified group to be able to talk to and get the word out,” he said.

2018-2019 UW Continuum College Advisory Council

  • Vicki Anderson-Ellis, Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration, School of Social Work
  • Sandy Archibald, Dean, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
  • Michael Bragg, Dean, College of Engineering
  • David Canfield-Budde, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Planning, Graduate School
  • Carol Davis, Associate Dean, College of Education
  • Anind Dey, Dean, Information School
  • Maya Farrar, Manager, Museology
  • Laurie Feldman, Program Manager for Computational Finance & Risk Management
  • Anne Goodchild, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Tom Hazlet, Director, M.S. in Biomedical Regulatory Affairs, School of Pharmacy
  • Mary Larson, Associate Director of Academic Services, Human-Computer Interaction + Design
  • Santhi Perumal, Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration, College of Education
  • Donna Porter, Associate Director of Academic Program Operations, Health Services
  • Robert Stacey, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences