Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Defining Strong Departments > Characterizing Strong Geoscience Departments > Most Important Factor for Success

Most Important Factor in Departmental Success

Go back to the beginning of this presentation, by Randall Richardson and Susan Beck of the University of Arizona, about the results of a national survey of geoscience departments.

Key findings:


Click on the thumbnail images to see larger versions of each graph.


Of the seven items listed below, which one would you choose as the single most important measure or indicator of departmental success?
  • Defining the mission of the department in such a way that it is aligned with the institution vision.
  • Taking a proactive stance in building modern and dynamic geoscience curricula and, as appropriate, research agendas.
  • Working effectively as a department team.
  • Acknowledging that recruitment, development, and retention of students, faculty, and staff are key elements of departmental success and working effectively in these areas.
  • Developing strong departmental leaders now and for the future.
  • Communicating success, using effective metrics, to colleagues, senior administrators, students, donors, and friends.
  • Forging strategic partnerships within the university (e.g., with biosciences, engineering, environmental studies, or geography) and outside the university (e.g., employers or alumni).

Two-Year Programs


Undergraduate Programs


Master's Programs


PhD Programs


PhD Programs >20 FTEs



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