The Programs of Distinction Task Force (PDTF) shall consist of six academic-unit based teams (ATs), one for each college and one constructed for the School of Professional Studies. In addition, a seventh group consisting of representatives from each of the six ATs that will focus on the possibility of an interdisciplinary program that exhibits such potential.

Each of these teams shall focus on identifying current or prospective academic programs within their area that possess a high potential for distinction and distinctiveness. From these programs, each AT will nominate one or two academic programs, program clusters or program themes within each college and school that exhibit the potential to enhance the university’s regional and national visibility, academic reputation and competitiveness.

The PDTF shall analyze the comparative advantages of programs selected as candidates for “Pillar of Distinction” designation using such criteria as:

  1. Centrality to mission;
  2. Potential for capitalizing on existing strengths;
  3. Potential for gaining broad faculty support;
  4. Potential for external recognition as exemplary; and
  5. Potential for sustainability.

The PDTF will produce a report that provides (1) all of the academic programs identified by the ATs as programs of potential; (2) the academic programs, program clusters or program themes nominated for designation as “Pillars of Distinction”; and (3) the academic programs, program clusters or program themes recommend for designation as “Pillars of Distinction.”