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Message from the Chancellor: Trans-institutional Programs initiative launched

Nov. 3, 2014, 1:25 PM

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Vanderbilt University)

Dear Members of the Vanderbilt Community,

A little over two months into the fall semester, we are making great progress in building the framework to implement the Academic Strategic Plan, which articulates our vision for the future of our great University. Driving this plan is the imperative that we, as one of the world’s leaders in discovery, learning, and service, focus our efforts on the most pressing issues and questions facing society today.  The challenges of the 21st century cannot be solved by one discipline alone. We need to marshal the resources of all of our 10 colleges and schools as we continue to advance One Vanderbilt in service to humanity.

Against this background, I am pleased to announce the launch of a bold, exciting initiative to support Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPS). This $50 million initiative will invest in innovative, interdisciplinary proposals that leverage the unique opportunities that exist at Vanderbilt, within our culture of civility and collaboration, to address issues facing society.

This TIPS initiative underscores the university’s strong commitment to our faculty and students and our confidence in their ability to harness their creativity, knowledge, and determination for the betterment of society.

The TIPs program funds innovative ideas that will forge new learning and discovery. We will invest in programs that are truly cutting edge and offer the chance for genuine creativity.  The TIPs initiative is designed to be nimble to enable Vanderbilt to move quickly as opportunities present themselves and to shift gears rapidly as new knowledge is developed and society changes.

I have asked Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Affairs John Geer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Lawrence Marnett to lead a TIPs Council comprising faculty from across the university, and have also appointed three faculty review panels to assist with the process. You can read more about the program and the faculty engaged in this process here. I am grateful to my colleagues for their willingness to serve in this critical endeavor.

Our work over the last several years as One University has been remarkably fruitful and is evidenced by the exceptional students we attract, our outstanding faculty, and the health care, learning, and discovery that distinguish Vanderbilt’s mission.  I am very excited about the TIPS initiative and all that it represents for Vanderbilt’s bright future. I thank each of you for the role you play in our University’s success.

Nicholas S. Zeppos

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