Update on status of the 2003 F21 Report

This 2003 F21 report will be based on an analysis of 2002 F21 statements, as they collectively document challenges facing current academic leaders and suggest approaches to addressing them. Other analyses of current challenges and opportunities will be incorporated, including from a fall 2002 F21 survey on "institutions that work."

Why is this an important effort?

The first major PKAL report, "What Works: Building Natural Science Communities," was published in 1991; it was a careful articulation of experiences and visions of a select group of undergraduate presidents, deans, and faculty. The last major report from a cross-disciplinary group of STEM faculty leaders was in 1992, from the NSF Presidential Young Investigators. Each was influential because it was a timely outcome of reasoned reflections by a significant cadre of leaders. As decisions have been made over the past decade, on campuses, in federal agencies, and on the Hill, for example, about shaping and supporting undergraduate STEM programs, these reports (and others) helped guide decision-makers. From conversations this summer with Washington stakeholders, we believe there is a ready audience for this PKAL F21 report.

We are drafting templates for our discussions in October and invite your thoughts.

Everything outlined below is FOR PURPOSES OF DISCUSSION ONLY. No final decisions will be made until after the assembly. All F21 members who submit a statement and/or attend the assembly will be listed as a contributor.

TITLE: To be determined.

AUDIENCE: As with most national reports, there will be recommendations for all stakeholders: including faculty; presidents, deans, boards of trustees, professional societies, government officials, funding agencies, corporate leaders.

DISTRIBUTION: PKAL usually distributes 10,000 annual reports; that will be the minimum number sent out automatically. Copies will be available for purchase, with the hope that groups see this PKAL F21 report as a helpful to their work.

GOALS: To revisit and update a decade of reports on transforming undergraduate STEM: to identify recommendations from those reports being addressed and those not being addressed, and- perhaps more important- to identify a further set of recommendations for policies, practices and programs in the next decade.


To weave a tapestry of recommendations, with the warp/woof threads taken from plans such as:

  • Plan A: from the perspectives of post-undergraduate student experiences/careers: citizens; K-12 teachers; workforce; academic
  • Plan B: from the perspective of curriculum, facilities, faculty careers, institutional cultures, scientific/technology
  • Plan C: from the perspective of new challenges: technology, interdisciplinary, global, science for all, student diversity; bringing advances in science and technology into the learning environment; National Science Digital Library
  • Plan D: from the perspective of persisting challenges: integrating research & education; balancing career/life; taking responsibility for leadership in the work of reform
  • Plan E: some or all of the above.

FORMAT: Each section will have a one-page background discussion of issues or vision that lead to the specific recommendations that follow (length of recommendation pages to vary).


  1. F21 members review past reports;
  2. pre-assembly draft available mid-September based primarily on 2002 F21 annual statements;
  3. small working groups work on drafts on Friday, October 11, at the National Assembly;
  4. review of drafts on Saturday, October 12, and submit comments;
  5. editorial committee to edit drafts;
  6. circulate widely for comments;
  7. early 2003 publication date.

OPPORTUNITY: This is YOUR chance to get one recommendation on the books for the national agenda.