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The University's five-year planning report, due out for final comment at the beginning of next month, will be the most detailed analysis of the University's long-term goals in recent memory, Provost Michael Aiken said yesterday. Aiken said that unlike earlier reports which articulated ambiguous philosophies and aims, this five-year plan will set specific "benchmarks" for the implementation of policies. "Some [previous reports] would be nothing more than a set of general goals," Aiken said. "The approach here is to identify exactly what we want to accomplish over the next five years." "It really is a guide to action," he added. The upcoming report was compiled from the work of 10 groups examining topics from graduate and undergraduate education to financial aid. The groups delivered their preliminary recommendations last year, which have been synthesized into seven general topics. Aiken said that although the final version will not include every specific working group recommendation, the suggestions in the original 10 reports will continue to be used by academic and administrative leaders to set policies. Aiken did not specify which of the groups' recommendations will be included in the final five-year plan. The provost added that the final version has come out of a series of in-depth discussions on the 10 original reports, which has pulled out "goals of the highest priority" for inclusion in the final report. The 30 to 40 page report is expected to be published in the October 9 edition of The Almanac for comment by the entire University community. Aiken said that he will allow six to eight weeks for debate on the report, after which time a final version will be compiled. The final report should be complete by winter break, he added. Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said yesterday that the report will also be mailed to members of the Faculty Senate and formally presented to the Trustees' committee on academic policy in early October. "Everyone will get a chance to say, 'What is this? You forgot this,' or, 'This is dumb,' " Koons said. The 10 original working groups -- undergraduate education, financial aid, admissions, advising and retention, doctoral and professional education, international dimensions, faculty development and academic information environment -- made recommendations ranging from reducing the size the freshman class to putting time limits on dissertations. Koons said the final version of the report will be divided into seven sections -- research capacity, undergraduate education, doctoral education, professional education, libraries and computing, internationalizing the University, and the quality of the campus community.

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