The following is an excerpt of an email sent to selected Twin Cities faculty and staff by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost on February 15.
I am delighted to convey to you the report of the Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team. This group — a large committee of distinguished faculty led by Raymond Duvall — consulted widely and worked diligently to produce this thoughtful report and its excellent recommendations. The team has identified a set of research foci that will leverage the breadth of the University of Minnesota's research power in order to address the grand challenges of our time.
The report calls on the University of Minnesota to embrace a research agenda featuring five interrelated Grand Challenges:
— Feeding the world sustainably
— Advancing health through tailored solutions
— Fostering just and equitable communities
— Enhancing individual and community capacity for a changing world
— Assuring clean water and sustainable ecosystems
This ambitious agenda has been constructed out of a conviction that these are areas where we have exceptional opportunities to marshal the breadth of our University's research strengths. These areas afford special opportunities to promote interdisciplinary activity that that will powerfully address the most critical challenges of our state, nation, and world. This is a key component of the U's multi-faceted ten-year strategic plan, "Driving Tomorrow."
As we move forward on this grand challenge agenda, we will of course continue to support and honor the specialized research and the deep disciplinary scholarship that are also central to the excellence and vitality of our University. It is important to underscore that point: recognition and support of superb disciplinary work are also key elements of our strategic plan. See the U's Grand Challenges research report.